Miguel Baptista Gran Peris was the only child in a farm family. He married at age 18, but became a widower just 16 months later.
He then followed a call to religious life, and Franciscan friar at the convent of Sant Miquel d’Escornalbou, making his religious profession on July 14, 1641, and taking the name Bonaventura.
Over the next 17 years he was assigned to convents in Mora d’Ebre, Figueres, la Bisbal d’Empordà and Terrassa where he served variously as cook, porter, beggar and infirmarian, and was known for his quiet, pious devotion to work, prayer and Franciscan spirituality.
In 1658 he was sent to the area of Rome, Italy, to promote a return to strict observance of the Franciscan Rule, There he founded four monasteries in the region.
He was assigned to houses in Aracaeli and Capranica, and served as porter at St. Isidore’s College. In 1662 he founded the Riformella, a reform movement of retreats and spiritual meditation for his brother friars to bring them back to the original Franciscan spirituality.
His writings about the “Retreats” received pontifical approve from Pope Innocent XI. Over the years he served as adviser to many, including Pope Alexander VII, Pope Clement IX, Pope Clement X and Pope Innocent XI.
Adapted by A.J. Valentini