San Francisco is one of our country's prize jewels. It is rich in history, expansive in beauty and a magnet for both U.S. and international visitors.
San Francisco is also the namesake of St. Francis of Assisi. Today, October 4th, is the feast day of St. Francis. St. Francis is the patron saint of animals and the environment. Francis is known for many things - among them the Canticle of Brother Sun and Sister Moon. The Canticle exudes Franciscan love for animals and the wonders of creation.
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.
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.
Praise 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 Sister Mother Earth, who sustains us 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.
One of the ways that St. Francis affects our 21st century culture is the annual "Blessing of the Animals." The blessing is a tradition honored by Grace Cathedral and many Catholic and Christian churches throughout the Bay Area. The blessing brings smiles to many faces as dogs, cats, parakeets, parrots, donkeys, lambs and a plethora of other animals grace the churches of Northern California.