In these times of climate change and global warming, many people are becoming interested in the life of Saint Francis of Assisi whose feast day is on the 4th October. Our present Pope Francis dedicated his papacy to Francis of Assisi. The Pope once remarked: “Some people want to know why I wished to be called Francis. For me, Francis of Assisi is the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and protects creation.”
Many people associate Saint Francis with his love of animals and birds, and indeed of all creation. On one occasion it was reported that Francis preached to the birds, when the people were not interested in what he had to say!
Francis saw every living creature, human, animal and indeed all of creation, as brother and sister. He saw God in everything and indeed all of God’s creation were companions to Francis. In the Canticle of Brother Sun, composed by Francis, we see this sense of companionship celebrated: Francis speaks of – Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Brother Wind, Sister Water, Brother Fire, Mother Earth and Sister Bodily Death. Francis had a unique awareness of the mystery of God present in the world.
The 28th United Nations Conference on ‘Uniting the World to tackle Climate Change’ will be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from the 30th November – 12th December 2023. We pray that as the nations of the world reflected on global warming and caring for creation, they will embrace the vision of St. Francis; to see God in everything around us and to realise that we are all created in the image and likeness of God Himself.
Like Francis of Assisi, we too are called to be people of peace, love and of joy, caring for ourselves, one another, and the world around us. May the Lord give the world his Peace!
(From the Ennis Parish Newsletter, Adapted)