Francis of Assisi woke up the world of his time by drawing attention to the beauty of creation, preaching the brotherhood and sisterhood of all living things as coming from the hand of the same heavenly Father.
St. Francis is the patron saint of ecology and nature because he was the first to make us aware of the need to revere and care for God’s creation. His beautiful poem, the “Canticle of the Creatures” is sung in many Christian churches today. It has helped us to see the wonder of the natural world which gives praise to the Creator by its very being.
It is the beginning words of this Canticle that serve as the start to the Holy Father’s encyclical “Laudato Si,” on Care for our Common Home:” “Praised be You, My Lord through all Your creatures.” As was his namesake, Pope Francis is a strong voice of support for mother earth, urging us to respect all God’s creation and to care for it.
The latest edition of our Franciscan Spirit magazine highlights some examples of how our sisters, who have been living the teachings of St. Francis for more than 150 years, and continue that work today. We hope these stories will inspire you to care for Mother Earth and all of its creatures not just on Earth Day, but every day.
This prayer reflects Pope Francis’ new encyclical “care for our common home,” entitled “Laudato Sí,” a title which references St. Francis of Assisi and his song of praise for creation.
We remember St. Francis of Assisi as he attended to the birds of the air and the creatures of the earth.
He sang his hymn of praise to our common home, the gift and mystery of creation. We respond to the words of Pope Francis as he calls us again to cherish this gift, this mystery, as he reminds us that we are all connected. All is communion in the great web of life and we are all part of the sacred whole. We sing once more with praise for the earth, as spring reminds us of new growth and the hope that we are challenged to live out. We practice hope for our common home. And for that communion of all creation, so the song of praise heard in Assisi so long ago will continue to echo in country and city, around this green globe, and out to the heavens. Amen
Jane Deren, Ph.D
Copyright 2016 Education for Justice, a product of Center for Concern