Pope Francis and Saint Francis of Assisi
I deeply appreciate the many ways Pope Francis has continued the work of Vatican II by letting in the “fresh air” of modern science and other disciplines. While new information is one of the primary ways we come to understand Reality and God more fully, that doesn’t mean we can reject the past. Alongside the excellent scientific evidence offered by Laudato Si′, Pope Francis also honours my own spiritual father, St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology.
Saint Francis is the patron saint of all who study and work in the area of ecology, and he is also much loved by non-Christians. He was particularly concerned for God’s creation and for the poor and outcast. He loved, and was deeply loved for his joy, his generous self-giving, his openheartedness. He was a mystic and a pilgrim who lived in simplicity and in wonderful harmony with God, with others, with nature, and with himself. He shows us just how inseparable the bond is between concern for nature, justice for the poor, commitment to society, and interior peace.
What is more, Saint Francis, faithful to Scripture, invites us to see nature as a magnificent book in which God speaks to us and grants us a glimpse of his infinite beauty and goodness. “Through the greatness and the beauty of creatures one comes to know by analogy their maker” (Wisdom 13:5); indeed, “his eternal power and divinity have been made known through his works since the creation of the world” (Romans 1:20).
Prayer for our community
O Great Love, thank you for living and loving in us and through us.
May all that we do flow from our deep connection with you and all beings.
Help us become a community that vulnerably shares each other’s burdens and the weight of glory.
Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our world.
In all the holy names of God,