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 value of this treatise, written by a Doctor of the Church, is self-evident. God speaks to all faithful Christians through Saint Bonaventure's meditation. Reissuing Vitis Mystica provides wider exposure to this previously hard-to-find translation, not the least bit outdated despite being over 60 years old. Classics, by their nature, continually find surprising ways to lead us closer to Christ Jesus.

Martin Thornton's English Spirituality prominently suggests this work for students of the English School of Catholic spirituality, or “Catholic Anglicanism.” Thornton counseled Anglicans look to Saint Bonaventure because he gave order to the spirituality of Saint Francis. In terms of affective emphasis, he complements Saint Anselm and Richard Rolle, and prepares us for more pastorally refined theology of Walter Hilton and Dame Julian of Norwich.

The Fleur de Lys series, here begun to be reissued—works by William of Saint Thierry, Saint Bernard, Saint Aelred of Rievaulx, Hugh of Saint Victor—are “of incalculable importance to Anglican spirituality, and indeed to ascetical theology,” wrote Thornton in 1960. Having studied all of them, and returning constantly—Fransciscan, Cistercian, and Victorine influences on Prayer Book spirituality are palpable and poignant through Thornton's guidance—I confess that I wholeheartedly agree.

Matthew Dallman
Lent 2016


© 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.