For the rest of the month I will be dissecting, and reflecting, on Saint francis’ most famous poem-prayer. It is an interesting, and unique approach to faith and humility by a great saint. I would love your comments.
The Canticle of the Sun is a religious song/poem/prayer written by Saint Francis of Assisi. In its praise of God, St. Francis thanks Him for such creations as “Brother Sun” and “Sister Moon”. It is an affirmation of Saint Francis’ personal theology, as he often referred to animals as brothers and sisters to Mankind, as well as rejecting material processions and comforts in favor of “Lady Poverty”.
Saint Francis is wrote most of the canticle in late 1224 while recovering from an illness at San Damiano, in a small cottage built for him by Saint Clare and other women of her order. Supposedly, the first time it was sung in its entirety was by Saint Francis and Brothers Angelo and Leo, two of his original companions, on Saint Francis’ deathbed. The final verse praising “Sister Death” was added just a few minutes prior to them singing.
The full text of “The Canticle of the Sun” can be found at many web sites including: http://www.webster.edu/~barrettb/canticle.htm
Humor of the Day:
Some people are kind, polite, and sweet-spirited until you try to sit in their pews.
Today’s Meditation: The Canticle of the Sun by Francis of Assisi
From The Canticle of the Sun by Francis of Assisi (day 1 of 14)
Most high, all powerful, all good Lord! All praise is yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing to you, alone, Most High, do they belong. …
St. Francis truly loved God with all his heart, soul, mind, and body. He was known as a living saint while still alive, because of his piety and self-giving of anything he had to give. There are many stories to prove this true, so I won’t even try to support this fact – it has been proven many times.
Can I love God as much as St. Francis loved God? I would like to say yes, but realistically, the answer would probably be a big ‘NO!’ Though I believe I probably will never achieve the piety of our great saint, there is NO reason not to try to achieve that goal.
St. Francis loved all creation, not just Christians, as gifts of God; created by god; and thus divine in nature, since all God makes is divine. In all, he found a beauty, and a gift to enjoy. The birds and the flowers are obvious gifts, but he also found a beauty in such as a wolf terrorizing a community; and in realizing the beauty in this wolf, he saved its life and the lives of the community, including its livestock.
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Franciscan Saint of the Day: St Nicholas Tavelich
Nicholas was the son of a noble and wealthy family of Dalmatia. His illustrious parents gave him a good education, and his progress in learning was marvelous. But no less marvelous was his progress in virtue.
When Nicholas finished his studies, he resolved to quit the world and enter the Order of St. Francis. In spite of the great obstacles and the stubborn opposition he met, he received the humble habit of St. Francis and made his novitiate with the simplicity and docility of a child. After he was ordained a priest, his fervor in saying Mass caused edification and all were impressed by his sermons.
Due to his great learning and piety, he was sent as a missionary to Bosnia, a most difficult field of labor. He gained innumerable souls for Christ by his extreme kindness and charity.
After 12 years of tireless labor in Bosnia, all opposition died down, and Nicholas was convinced he must seek martyrdom elsewhere. He now asked for permission to go to the Holy Land, where so many of his brethren had already attained the martyr’s crown. The permission was granted to him, and he was sent to Jerusalem.
On November 11, 1391, he entered the Turkish mosque and with the zeal of a Saint Paul preached to a vast assembly there. He pleaded with tact and eloquence that Christ and His religion be accepted by the Turks in their hearts and homes. Before he had finished, he was apprehended and taken to the magistrates.
Questioned as to his faith, Nicholas joyfully professed his belief in the one true Church of Christ, defending it against every objection. This incensed the court to such an extent that he was knocked to the ground and attacked with great fury. Beaten almost to death, he was dragged into a dungeon, chained hand and foot, and kept for three days without food or drink.
On the fourth day he was taken out into the street, where he died the glorious death of a martyr, slashed to pieces with scimitars. God glorified His martyr by miracles, and Pope Leo XIII solemnly confirmed the veneration paid to him from time immemorial.
from: The Franciscan Book of Saints, ed. by Marion Habig, ofm., © 1959 Franciscan Herald Press
(From http://www.franciscan-sfo.org website)
Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule # :
Secular Franciscans, together with all people of good will, are called to build a more fraternal and evangelical world so that the kingdom of God may be brought about more effectively. Mindful that anyone “who follows Christ, the perfect man, becomes more of a man himself,” let them exercise their responsibilities competently in the Christian spirit of service.