Long before Bonaventure was called "The Prince of Mystics" by Leo XIII or "The Seraphic Doctor" by John Gerson, he was known throughout the Christian world as "The Devout Teacher." The three works contained in this volume offer the core of his vision. In The Soul's Journey into God, considered Bonaventure's masterpiece, he takes the six-winged Seraph as the symbol for the six stages of centemplation in which the created world is seen as a reflection of God. The Tree of Life is a simple meditation on the life of Jesus, "based on the Gospel accounts" in which "Christ is seen as the Tree of Life on which branches blossom such virtues as humility, piety, patience, constancy and justice." The Life of St. Francis was the official biography commissioned by the Franciscan Order in 1260.
Named "The Prince of Mystics" by Leo XIII, Bonaventure (1217-1274), friar and professor at the University of Paris, was considered a great spiritual master in his own lifetime.