Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Feast of Saint Francis

In Catholic tradition, the celebration of the Feast of Saint Francis falls on October 4. Today!

Almost everyone, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, knows that Saint Francis is often referred to as the Patron Saint of Animals. Francis, in fact, was a much more complicated figure, but one of his most noted attributes was his divine respect for all of creation.

The National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi, on its web site, says this of St Francis:
"He wasn’t a mere sentimentalist about bunnies and birds and pets—he simply lived from his heart the respect for all creatures—animal and human......"

Brother Wayne Teasdale, in The Mystic Heart, (very interesting book, BTW!) describes Francis as a Nature Mystic.
"He exhibited total openness to and solidarity with the natural world and all the creatures who inhabit it. In this, his spirituality was similar to that of the Native Americans. he accepted all things as brothers and sisters, and treated them with love and respect."
St Francis' Canticle of the Sun

Most High, all-powerful, all-good Lord,
All praise is Yours, all glory, all honour 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 splendour,
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

No comments: