St Francis Day

When I started this calendar theme, it wasn’t with the intention of reminding lapsed atheists of the saints, but to get into the rhythm of the agricultural/liturgical year that we have lost in the post-industrial world. Nevertheless, I’m a great believer in serendipity, and if a friend just happens to mention that tomorrow is St Francis’s Day, then I must act. Or rather, blog.

And so it is. October 4th is the feast day of the patron saint of animals and the environment. So go hug a tree, stroke the cat and collect fallen leaves for their sheer beauty. And make a few notes of what is going on in early October.

Here we still have spider webs shrouding the plants, beaded with dew. The trees are turning in colour and the first leaves to let go are spinning slowly to the ground. The birds are beginning to sound lonely.

Happy autumn, one and all, and to you, Brother Francis.

Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures,
especially through my lord Brother Sun,
who brings the day; and you give light through him.
And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor!
Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.

Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars;
in the heavens you have made them bright, precious and beautiful.

Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
and clouds and storms, and all the weather,
through which you give your creatures sustenance.

Be praised, My Lord, through Sister Water;
she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure.

Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom you brighten the night.
He is beautiful and cheerful, and powerful and strong.

Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth,
who feeds us and rules us,
and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.

From ‘The Canticle of the Sun’

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