The "Canticle of the Sun" is a fitting prayer for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.
Several years ago, Pope Francis instituted September 1 in the Catholic Church as the “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.” Last year Pope Francis reminded Roman Catholics about the day by saying; “we will celebrate the Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, together with our Orthodox brothers and other churches. It will be an occasion to reinforce our common efforts to protect life, respecting the environment and nature.” When he established the annual celebration Pope Francis said, “Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.”
Among Pope Francis’ chief influences was St. Francis of Assisi, as is evident in his encyclical entitled, Laudato si’, which takes its name from the well-known “Canticle of the Sun” written by St. Francis.
On this day it is fitting to recall the words of St. Francis and to praise God for creation, pledging to do our part to be a faithful steward of what he has given us.
Most High, all powerful, good Lord,
Yours are the praises, the glory, the honor,
and all blessing.
To You alone, Most High, do they belong,
and no man is worthy to mention Your name.
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.
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 which
You give sustenance to Your creatures.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water,
which 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 Sister Mother Earth,
who sustains us and governs us and who produces
varied 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, they shall be crowned.
Praised be You, my Lord,
through our Sister Bodily Death,
from whom no living man 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.