The Mystical Vine
A treatise on the Passion of Our Lord

Saint Bonaventure

Translated from the Latin by a Friar of S.S.F.
Edited by Matthew Dallman




The seventh and last leaf of our Vine or string of the Lute is the last word to be uttered by our most loving Jesus from the cross, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” The meaning is clear. But why did the co-eternal and consubstantial Son of the Father commend himself publicly into the hands of his Father in this way, when he knew that he would nonetheless have received commendation had he not spoken as his did? Surely he who, only a little while before, had said, “The prince of this world,” that is, Satan, “is come, and hath nothing in me,” knew that his most holy spirit had already the Father’s commendation?

He commended his spirit into the hands of his Father in order to edify us, who are nothing but dust and ashes. He said it that we might also learn to commend our spirit into the hands of our eternal Father, lest as it leaves the body it should be seized by the prince of this world, for he, alas, is far from finding nothing that belongs to him in us.

It was certainly not of necessity but for our example that he commended into the hands of his Father his holy spirit, which spirit, being itself most pure, was on the point of leaving a body that was wholly pure, for him himself owed nothing to sin. Indeed, he came to take away all sins.


© Akenside Press and Matthew C. Dallman, 2016. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher, Akenside Press.