BAGNOREGGIO, Italy, SEPT. 7, 2009 (<a href=""> St. Bonaventure, like his spiritual father, St. Francis, has a message for today, according to Benedict XVI: Creation should be appreciated in the light of God.

The Pope reflected on this aspect of Bonaventure's teachings when he visited the saint's birthplace on Sunday.

The Holy Father, who studied Bonaventure as a doctoral student, acknowledged that the "rich cultural and mystical patrimony" left by the saint is difficult to summarize. 

He thus reflected on just a few points of Bonaventure's legacy: his testimony as a seeker of God, his love for creation, and his witness to hope.

Regarding this second point, the Pontiff called Bonaventure a "seraphic singer of creation" who "learned to 'praise God in all and through all creatures.'" 

He added: "St. Bonaventure presents a positive vision of the world, gift of God's love to men. [...] How useful it would be if also today we rediscovered the beauty and value of creation in the light of divine goodness and beauty! 

"In Christ, observed St. Bonaventure, the universe itself can again be the voice that speaks of God and leads us to explore his presence; exhorts us to honor and glorify him in everything."

The Bishop of Rome also pointed to the saint as "a messenger of hope."

He observed, "We find a beautiful image of hope in one of his Advent homilies, where he compares the movement of hope to the flight of a bird, which spreads its wings as far as possible, and employs all its energies to move them. [...] To hope is to fly, says St. Bonaventure."

Drawing from his second encyclical, the Holy Father said that when we are sustained by the hope that God gives, "we never run the risk of losing the courage to contribute, as the saints did, to the salvation of humanity, and 'we can open ourselves and open the world so that God will enter, God, who is truth, love and goodness.'"