Pope Francis surprised the world with his name, and almost three days after his election, he explained why he chose Francis.
March 16, 2013
"That is how the name came into my heart: Francis of Assisi. For me, he is the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and protects creation; these days we do not have a very good relationship with creation, do we?”
A name isn't the only thing that Pope Francis took from the famous saint. The title of his upcoming encyclical on ecology translates to "Be praised,” words from Saint Francis of Assisi's famous poem "Canticle of the Creatures.”
Taking care of Creation has been a major issue for Pope Francis since the start of his papacy. He explained why environmental responsibility is so important.
March 19, 2013
"It means protecting all creation, the beauty of the created world, as the Book of Genesis tells us and as Saint Francis of Assisi showed us. It means respecting each of God’s creatures and respecting the environment in which we live”.
The patron saint of the enviornment wrote the poem in an Italian dialect in 1226, when had already begun living his life of radical poverty. He expresses praise to God through nature in the poem, which is one of the first environmentalist documents.
Some of the opening lines are, "All praise is Yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing.” References are made to "our sister Mother Earth,” as well as "Brother Sun” and "Brother Wind.” Interestingly, the poem is considered one of the first works of Italian literature.
READ "CANTICLE OF THE CREATURES”
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.
No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your name.
Be praised, my Lord, through all Your creatures,
especially through my lord Brother Sun,
who brings the day; and You give light through him.
And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor!
Of You, Most High, he bears the likeness.
Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars;
in the heavens You have made them bright, precious and beautiful.
Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
and clouds and storms, and all the weather,
through which You give Your creatures sustenance.
Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Water;
she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure.
Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom You brighten the night.
He is beautiful and cheerful, and powerful and strong.
Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth,
who feeds us and rules us,
and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.
Be praised, my Lord, through those who forgive for love of You;
through those who endure sickness and trial.
Happy those who endure in peace,
for by You, Most High, they will be crowned.
Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Bodily Death,
from whose embrace no living person can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin!
Happy those she finds doing Your most holy will.
The second death can do no harm to them.
Praise and bless my Lord, and give thanks,
and serve Him with great humility.