The Canticle of Brother Sun

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.

Praised be You, my Lord, with all your creatures, 
especially Sir Brother Sun, 
Who is the day and through whom You give us light. 
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor; 
and bears a likeness of You, Most High One.

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 our Sister Mother Earth, 
who sustains 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. 

By Francis of Assisi

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #42 in 1994]

From Francis and Ciare: The Complete Works, translated and introduced by Regis Armstrong and Ignatius Brady. © 1982 The Missionary Society of St. Paul the Apostle in the State of New York. Used by permission of Paulist Press.
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