Encyclical name inspired by St. Francis’ prayer

| June 17, 2015 | 0 Comments

The name for Pope Francis’ encyclical, “Laudato Si’” means “praised be” in medieval Italian and is taken from an introductory phrase repeated in St. Francis of Assisi’s famous prayer, “The Canticle of the Creatures.”

St. John Paul II referenced the canticle in his 1979 proclamation of St. Francis as patron of those who promote ecology.

“Among the holy and admirable men who have revered nature as a wonderful gift of God to the human race, St. Francis of Assisi deserves special consideration,” he said. “For he, in a special way, deeply sensed the universal works of the Creator and, filled with a certain divine spirit, sang that very beautiful ‘Canticle of the Creatures.’ Through them, Brother Sun most powerful and Sister Moon and the stars of heaven, he offered fitting praise, glory, honor and all blessing to the most high, all-powerful, good Lord.”

The 13th-century hymn’s text, from a translation used by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, is as follows:

A statue of St. Francis, patron of ecology, at St. Catherine University in St. Paul. Courtesy St. Catherine.

A statue of St. Francis, patron of ecology, at St. Catherine University in St. Paul. Courtesy St. Catherine.

O most High, almighty, good Lord God, to you belong praise, glory, honor, and all blessing!

Praised be my Lord God with all creatures, and especially our brother the sun, which brings us the day and the light; fair is he, and shining with a very great splendor: O Lord, he signifies you to us!

Praised be my Lord for our sister the moon, and for the stars, which God has set clear and lovely in heaven.

Praised be my Lord for our brother the wind, and for air and cloud, calms and all weather, by which you uphold in life all creatures.

Praised be my Lord for our sister water, which is very serviceable to us, and humble, and precious, and clean.

Praised be my Lord for brother fire, through which you give us light in the darkness; and he is bright, and pleasant, and very mighty, and strong.

Praised be my Lord for our mother the Earth, which sustains us and keeps us, and yields diverse fruits, and flowers of many colors, and grass.

Praised be my Lord for all those who pardon one another for God’s love’s sake, and who endure weakness and tribulation; blessed are they who peaceably shall endure, for you, O most High, shall give them a crown!

Praised be my Lord for our sister, the death of the body, from which no one escapes. Woe to him who died in mortal sin!

Blessed are they who are found walking by your most holy will, for the second death shall have no power to do them harm.

Praise you, and bless you the Lord and give thanks to God, and serve God with great humility.

Tags: ,

Category: Laudato Si