October 4th is the feast day of St. Francis, patron saint of animals and the environment. Many of us have seen his statue adorning gardens or quite places for reflection in nature. Our current Pope took his name to reflect the need to live simply, care for the poor, and find God in His Creation. Pope Francis’ encyclical named Laudato Si’ references St. Francis of Assisi’s Canticle of Brother Sun and Sister Moon which begins “Praised be You my Lord…” (Laudato Si’ means Praise be You in medieval Italian)
Pope Francis also calls for a World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation on September 1st every year. It was on September 1st last year that he announced a new work of mercy in the Church, “Care for Our Common Home.” He then called for several week span to pray and reflect upon God’s gift of Creation for us in what he termed the “Season of Creation.” This Season of Creation comes to a close with this feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. Let’s pray the prayer St. Francis wrote “Canticle of Brother Sun and Sister Moon”. While praying, realize that St. Francis was near his death upon writing this prayer, suffering greatly in his health and from the stigmata.
Most High, all-powerful, all-good Lord, All praise is Yours, all glory, all honor and all blessings. To you alone, Most High, do they belong, and no mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your Name.
Praised be You my Lord with all Your creatures, especially Sir Brother Sun, Who is the day through whom You give us light. And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor, Of You Most High, he bears the likeness.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars, In the heavens you have made them bright, precious and fair.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air, And fair and stormy, all weather’s moods, by which You cherish all that You have made.
Praised be You my Lord through Sister Water, So useful, humble, precious and pure.
Praised be You my Lord through Brother Fire, through whom You light the night and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.
Praised be You my Lord through our Sister, Mother Earth who sustains and governs us,
producing varied fruits with coloured flowers and herbs. Praise be You my Lord through those who grant pardon for love of You and bear sickness and trial.
Blessed are those who endure in peace, By You Most High, they will be crowned.
Praised be You, my Lord through Sister Death, from whom no-one living can escape. Woe to those who die in mortal sin! Blessed are they She finds doing Your Will.
No second death can do them harm. Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks, And serve Him with great humility.
Learn more about this amazing Saint Here
Below are pictures with our MUHS student group Caring for Creation by do water quality testing on the Menominee River in Milwaukee, WI.