“Not to hurt our humble brethren (the animals) is our first duty to them,
But to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission –
To be of service to them, whenever they require it.”
St. Francis of Assisi
I have admired this man since my early childhood
An Environmental Pioneer and a Brother to the Sun
He wrote the magnificent Canticle of the Creatures
His compassion for them lasted until his life was done
Today, his image is still found in many a garden
Whether it’s owned by a Buddhist or a Christian
I have traveled to his ancient birth place in Italy
And one day very soon, I hope to visit there again
He was born into an extremely wealthy family of means
Yet, he followed his compassionate heart so truly brave
Although mocked at first, and often ridiculed by others
Near his birth place, he would often pray inside a cave
He loved so equally - the rabbit, the sparrow, and the wolf
He believed animals to be his Brothers and Sisters on Earth
And of all the notable figures in the vast history of mankind
He’s one I’ll always admire, a man compassionate since birth
In 1979, Pope John Paul II proclaimed him ‘The Saint of Ecology’
And, we truly need many more like him these sad, destructive, days
My grandmother read Canticle of the Creatures to me when I was five
And today, all of these numerous years later, it still moves me in many ways
“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.
“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.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Earth, our Mother,
Who sustains us and governs us.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through all that you have made.”
From The Canticle of the Creatures
Today Is The Feast Day Of This Remarkable Man,
In His Honor, Today Is Also ‘World Animal Day.’
What Have You Done Lately, For Earth’s Animals?
As He Knew, They Enrich Our Lives, In So Many Ways.
©October 4, 2012, Mr. Ed