Did You Know: The Pope’s Encyclical

A closer look at Laudato Si' - Encyclical by Pope Francis

Mary Theresa Pitre, VOX Reporter

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Pope Francis wrote an encyclical this year called Laudato Si’. It was released in Rome on the 24th of May, 2015. It is about the environment; how we should care for the world around us and especially our homes. Although the encyclical may be a church document, it has created much interest worldwide because, in the encyclical,  the Pope is calling on all people of the world, of all good will, to take action.

Here is the first paragraph of the encyclical:

1. “LAUDATO SI’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to you, my Lord”. In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs”.[1]

Did you know that the title “Laudato Si'” comes from a beautiful 13th century prayer written by St. Francis called “Canticle of the Creatures”? It makes sense that Pope Francis would be reflecting on this prayer while writing his encyclical because St. Francis is the patron saint of the environment. St. Francis would spend a lot of time praying to God while he was surround by nature, and he had a special love for animals. His love for God’s creation is displayed his prayer below.

Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth, who feeds us and rules us, and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.”

— St. Francis of Assisi

Laudato Si: Canticle of the Creatures

by St. Francis of Assisi

Most high, all powerful, all good Lord!
All praise is Yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing.

To You, alone, Most High, do they belong.
No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce 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.

Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars;
in the heavens You have made them bright, precious and beautiful.

 

Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
and clouds and storms, and all the weather,
through which You give Your creatures sustenance.

Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Water;
she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure.

Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom You brighten the night.
He is beautiful and cheerful, and powerful and strong.

Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth,
who feeds us and rules us,
and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.

StFrancis_of_Assisi

Be praised, my Lord, through those who forgive for love of You;
through those who endure sickness and trial.

Happy those who endure in peace,
for by You, Most High, they will be crowned.

 

Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Bodily Death,
from whose embrace no living person can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin!
Happy those she finds doing Your most holy will.
The second death can do no harm to them.

Praise and bless my Lord, and give thanks,
and serve Him with great humility.

Taking time to reflect on the Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ new encyclical, and the beautiful prayer which inspired its title, is a great way to learn and grow in faith.  Check back here on VOX because we will be reflecting on different parts of the encyclical throughout the year.

Are you reading the encyclical? Tell us below.

Laudato Si

Pope Francis' Encyclical
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