The Season of Creation (1 September – 4 October) concludes on the feast day of St Francis of Assisi, honoured by the Catholic Church as the Patron Saint of animals and ecology because he was a great lover of creation.
Taking care of Creation has been a major issue for Pope Francis since the start of his papacy, when he took the name Francis “the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and protects creation; these days we do not have a very good relationship with creation, do we?’” (13 March 2013). It has been an issue he has repeatedly brought to our attention.
Pope Francis explained that same day why environmental responsibility is so important:
“It means protecting all creation, the beauty of the created world, as the Book of Genesis tells us and as Saint Francis of Assisi showed us. It means respecting each of God’s creatures and respecting the environment in which we live”.
The title of Laudato Si’, the pope’s encyclical on ecology translates to “Be praised,” words from Saint Francis of Assisi’s famous poem “Canticle of Creation”, also called “Canticle of the Creatures”. Laudato Si’ draws on the words of St Francis in introducing us to the concept of sharing a common home, which by our neglect and overconsumption ‘is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor’ ( Laudato Si’ 2)
As we mark the end of this Season, let us resolve to continue to protect earth and dignify humanity – responding in this way to hearing “the cry of the earth, the cry of the poor” (Laudato Si’).
Saint Francis Quotations
“A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.”
“What God knows about me is infinitely more important than what others think about me”
“For it is in Giving that we Receive”
“Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary use Words.”
“All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the LIGHT of a single candle.”
“Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible and suddenly you are doing what is impossible.”
“Your Deeds may be the only sermon some persons hear today.”
“While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more in your heart.”
“Have patience to walk with short steps until you have wings to fly.”
“Remember that when you leave the earth, you can take nothing of what you have received, but only what you have given: a full heart, enriched by honest service, love sacrifice and courage.”
Image: Saint Francis of Assisi (detail) Cimabue. Public domain