St. Francis Canticle of the Sun Prayer {digital download}


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Canticle of the Sun

This hymn in praise of God for creation was composed by Saint Francis of Assisi in 1224. It is believed to be the first piece of literature written down in the Italian language. According to tradition, the first time it was sung in its entirety was by Francis and Brothers Angelo and Leo, two of his original companions, on Francis’ deathbed, the final verse praising “Sister Death” having been added only a few minutes before.

Most High, all-powerful, good Lord, yours are the praises, the glory, and the honor. 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 splendor; 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 fruits with colored 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. Woe to those who die in mortal sin. Blessed are those whom death will find in your most holy will, for the second death shall do them no harm. Praise and bless my Lord and give him thanks and serve him with great humility. Amen.

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