A Sermon on the Feast of the Transferal of the Body, 1267 - 737 

Sermon on the Feast of the Transferal
of the Body of Saint Francis

Probably preached at Paris, May 25, 1267

Bonaventure preached this sermon on the thirty-seventh anniversary of the transferal of Saint Francis's body from its temporary resting place in the church of San Giorgio in Assisi to the newly built basilica in his honor. The occasion was the Vigil of the Solemnity of the Ascension.a

Friend, go up higher


You who dwell in the gardens, my companions listen for your voice; deign to let me hear it.

This text tells us why the word of God must be preached often. One reason that should inspire us to preach is love of Christ, and another is love of our neighbor. The words of Holy Scripture provide spiritual nourishment for our neighbor, just as material food sustains the body.

In the same way that a person listens to news of a friend, and a sick person pays close heed to the advice of the doctor, so those who love God listen attentively to his word. By the mouth of the contemplative soul dwelling in the gardens of Holy Scripture, because of the consolations to be found there, the Lord, the Holy Spirit says: I will come to listen.

A third reason that ought to inspire us to preach is that the Lord desires to be honored. He wishes to be praised in our prayers, homilies, and sermons, and he wishes our neighbor to be edified by all these. As it is written: Let us praise the Lord and he will be glorified. We learn in lectures to distinguish essential and related purposes. The essential purpose of our sermons ought to be to praise God and the




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 737