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THE CANTICLE OF THE SUN
O Most High, Almighty God: to You belong praise, glory, honor, and all blessing.
Praise be to You with all Your creatures: and especially our broth er the sun, who brings us the day and who brings us the light. Fair is he and shining with a very great splendor: O God, to us he signifies You.
Praise be to You for our sister the moon, and for the stars which You have set clear and lovely in the heavens.
Praise be to You for our brother the wind, and for air and cloud, calms and all weather, by which You uphold in life all creatures.
Praise be to You for our sister water, who is very serviceable unto us, and humble and precious and clean.
Praise be to You for our brother fire, through whom You give light in the darkness; and he is bright and pleasant, and very mighty and strong.
Praise be to You for our mother, the earth, which sustains us and keeps us, and brings forth diverse fruits, and flowers of many colors, and grass.
Praise be to You for all those who pardon one another for 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.
Praise be to You for our sister the death of the body, from whom no one escapes.
We praise and bless and give thanks to You, O God, and serve You with great humility.
MAKE ME AN INSTRUMENT OF YOUR PEACE
God, make me an instrument of Your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
May I not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Francis of Assisi (c. 1181-1226) is perhaps the most popular saint for Catholics and persons of other faiths. Born the son of a wealthy businessman, he claimed to have experienced visions and spiritual crises in his twenties (following military service and medical illness) that inspired him to commit to a life of poverty and preaching among the people. He attracted a large group of followers who became the first order of Franciscan friars.