Today is the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi
, a major spiritual influence in my life. To celebrate, I present his hymn "Brother Sun, Sister Moon":
Most High, omnipotent, good Lord,
To thee be ceaseless praise outpoured,
And blessing without measure.
From thee alone all creatures came;
No man is worthy thee to name.
My Lord be praised by brother sun
Who through the skies his course doth run,
And shines in brilliant splendor:
With brightness he doth fill the day,
And signifies thy boundless sway.
My Lord be praised by sister moon
And all the stars, that with her soon
Will point the glitt'ring heavens.
Let wind and air and cloud and calm
And weathers all, repeat the psalm.
By sister water be thou blessed,
Most humble, useful, precious, chaste:
Be praised by brother fire;
Jocund is he, robust and bright,
And strong to lighten all the night.
By mother earth my Lord be praised;
Governed by thee she hath upraised
What for man's life is needful.
Sustained by thee through ev'ry hour,
She bringeth forth fruit, herb, and flower.
My Lord be praised by those who prove
In free forgivingness their love,
Nor shrink from tribulation.
Happy, who peaceably endure;
With thee, Lord, their reward is sure.
For death, our sister, praisèd be,
From whom no man alive can flee.
Woe to the unpreparèd!
But blest be they who do thy will
And follow thy commandments still.
Francis of Assisi, 1181-1226
Tr. Howard Chandler Robbins, 1939