of the Week
St Francis, Lover of All Creation (and
By Lynn Kirkland
Churches around the country hold Pet
Blessing services on a Sunday as close
as possible to the Feast Day of St Francis
of Assisi, which is 4th of October.
St Francis died on 4th October 1226.
Although St Francis is best known for
his patronage of animals and birds, he
is also considered to be the Patron Saint
of Ecology and Environment and of Italy,
where we find Assisi, the birthplace of
St Francis did not immediately feel the
call of God in his life; in fact he resisted
it quite strongly, living the life of
a spoilt rich kid in Assisi where his
father was a successful textile merchant.
Eventually the messages from God became
too strong to resist and Francis gave
up the trappings of wealth to live a simple
life in the woods.
It was here that his communications with
all aspects of nature began.
It is said that he tamed a man-eating
wolf. He told the birds to sing the praises
of God everyday.
Just now in the woods we can enjoy the
tuis singing their praises for the nectar
in the flowering gums and kowhai trees.
Francis was a talented man and he wrote
many songs to remind us of the importance
of connecting with the world around us.
One was called the Song of the Sun and
it was this song that Francis requested
be sung by his brothers as he lay blind
He was welcoming Sister Death as the sun
went down at the end of the day.
A verse from this song is:
“Be praised, my Lord, for Sister Earth!
She is the mother who governs us and gives
For us she makes all kinds of fruits,
All kinds of colours of flowers
And sweet herbs.”
Lovely words for us to ponder on as spring
approaches. St Francis of Assisi, patron
Saint of nature, tamer of wolves and lover
of animals, we salute you.
Appreciate your precious pets always
as those “children in fur coats” bring
such joy into our lives.
Grove Road, RD10