Documents Ascribed to St. Francis
Sermon to the Birds
My little sisters, the birds, much bounden are ye unto God, your creator, and always
in every place ought ye to praise him, for that he hath given you liberty to fly about
everywhere, and hath also given you double and triple raiment; moreover he
preserved your seed in the ark of Noah, that your race might not perish out of the
world; still more are ye beholden to him for the element of the air which he hath
appointed for you; beyond all this, ye sow not, neither do you reap; and God feedeth
you, and giveth you the streams and fountains for your drink; the mountains and
valleys for your refuge and the high trees whereon to make your nests; and because
ye know not how to spin or sow, God clotheth you, you and your children; wherefore
your creator loveth you much, seeing that he hath bestowed on you so many benefits;
and therefore, my little sisters, beware of the sin of ingratitude, and study always to
give praises unto God.
Saint Francis of Assisi - c 1220
Canticle to the Sun
Most high, all-powerful, all good, Lord!
All praise is yours, all glory, all honor
And all blessing.
To vou alone, Most High, do they belong.
No mortal lips are worthy
To pronounce your name.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through all that you have made,
And first my lord Brother Sun,
Who brings the day; and light you give to us through him.
How beautiful is he, how radiant in all his splendor!
Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Moon and Stars;
In the heavens you have made them, bright
And precious and fair.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
And fair and stormy, all the weather's moods,
By which you cherish all that you have made.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Water,
So useful, lowly, precious, and pure.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
Through whom you brighten up the night.
How beautiful he is, how gay! Full of power and strength.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Earth, our mother,
Who feeds us in her sovereignty and produces
Various fruits and colored flowers and herbs.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through those who grant pardon
For love of you; through those who endure
Sickness and trial.
Happy those who endure in peace,
By you, Most High, they will be crowned.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Death,
From whose embrace no mortal can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin!
Happy those She finds doing your will!
The second death can do no harm to them.
Praise and bless my Lord, and give him thanks,
And serve him with great humility.
--St. Francis of Assisi