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At the heart of Franciscan spirituality is the value of ‘right-relationships’. This is with God, with others and with the whole of creation.
Francis is known for his special connection and relationship with creatures and creation. He is often seen as the ‘bird bath’ saint. However, this ‘sweet’ image of Francis belies a much deeper reality. Francis saw every part of creation as his brother and sister – because he shared with them the same creator and ‘Father’ and the same ‘Brother’ in Christ.
Francis wrote the beautiful song of praise ‘The Canticle of Creation’ to express this profound sense of relationship he shared with all of God’s creation.

The Canticle of Creation
Most High, all-powerful, good Lord,
Yours are the praises, the glory, and the honour, and all blessing,
To You alone, Most High, do they belong,
and no human is worthy to mention Your name.

Praised be You, my Lord, with all Your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun,
Who is the day and through whom You give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendour;
and bears a likeness of You, Most High One.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
in heaven You formed them clear and precious and beautiful.

Praised be You my Lord, through Brother Wind,
and through the air, cloudy and serene, and every kind of weather,
through whom You give sustenance to Your creatures.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water,
who is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.

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,
and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs.

Praised be You, my Lord, through those who give pardon for Your love,
and bear infirmity and tribulation.
Blessed are those who endure in peace
for by You, Most High, shall they be crowned.

Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death,
from whom no one living can escape.
Blessed are those whom death will find in Your most holy will,
for the second death can do them no harm.

Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks
and serve Him with great humility.

Both St Francis and St Clare knew at a deep level that we are in ‘kin-ship’ with all of creation. Within the Christian faith Francis is the patron saint of ecology and the environment and his vision and example speak powerfully to the current Climate Crisis – calling us to make real and practical, our care and respect for all of God’s creation with whom we share a common home. Here at the Franciscan Centre we strive to make this kinship practical by striving for a sustainable and ecologically sound use of the resources we have been gifted with.

Artwork by Lee Kowling ‘Francis Canticle of Creation’ Used with permission