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(Francis's Song Of Joy)

Excerpted with permission from The St. Francis Prayer Book, pg. 128
by Jon Sweeney

Prayers to learn by heart

"The Canticle of Brother Sun" represented many great things in Francis's life: Francis saw it as a gift from God, a recovery from
his deeply felt self-doubts, and a revelation of what role he and
his brothers were to play in the lives of the people they encountered. The joy of this simple song is unmatched.

The earthiness—and the sanctifying of the earthy everyday-ness of life that comes by repeating it—was essential for Francis. Its influence in the early days of the Franciscan movement was great, as was its influence in the earliest moments of vernacular literature in Italy. This was Francis of Assisi's favorite of his prayers.

O most high, almighty, good Lord God,
to you belong praise, glory, honor, and all blessing!
Praised be my Lord God with all your creatures,
and especially our Brother Sun,
who brings us the day and who brings us the light.
Fa ir is he and shines with a very great splendor:
O Lord, he signifies you to us!
Praised be my Lord for our Brother Wind,
and for air and cloud, calms and all weather
through which you uphold life in all creatures.
Praised be my Lord for our Sister Water,
who is very useful to us and humble
and precious and clean.
Praised be my Lord for our Brother Fire,
through whom 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 Earth,
who does sustain us and keep us,
and brings forth many fruits and flowers
of many colors, and grass.
Praised be my Lord for all those
who pardon one another for your sake,
and who endure weakness and tribulation;
blessed are they who peaceably endure, for you,
most High, shall give them a crown.
Praised be my Lord
for our Sister Death of the Body,
from whom no one can escape.
Woe to those who die 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 and bless the Lord, and give thanks to him
and serve him with great humility.

* * *


Excerpted from The St. Francis Prayer Book by Jon M. Sweeney. Copyright ©2004 Jon M. Sweeney. Used by permission of Paraclete Press.

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