BONA, JOHN (1609-1674), Italian cardinal and author, was born at Mondovi in Piedmont, on the 10th of October 1609. In 1624 he joined the Congregation of Feuillants and was successively elected prior of Asti, abbot of Mondovi and general of his order. He was created cardinal in 1669 by Clement IX., and during the conclave, which followed that pope's death, was regarded as a possible candidate for the papacy. He died on the 27th of October 1674. Bona's writings are mainly concerned with liturgical and devotional subjects. Of the numerous editions of his works, the best are those of Paris (1677), Turin (1747) and Antwerp (1777). Stores of interesting rubrical information, interspersed with verses and prayers, are to be found in the De Libris Liturgicis and the Divina Psalmodia; recent advances in liturgical studies, however, have somewhat lessened their value. The De Discretione Spirituum treats of certain higher phases of mysticism; the Via Compendii ad Deum was well translated in 1876 by Henry Collins, O. Cist., under the title of An Easy Way to God. Sir Roger L'Estrange's translation (The Guide to Heaven, 1680) of the Manuductio ad Coelum was reprinted in 1898, and a new edition of the Principia Vitae Christianae, ed. by D. O'Connor, appeared in 1906. The devotional treatise De Sacrificio Missae is the classical work in its field (new edition by Ildephonsus Cummins, 1903).
The chief source for the life of Bona is the biography by the Cistercian abbot Bertolotti (Asti, 1677); the best modern study is by A. Ighina (Mondovi, 1874).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)