Friday, October 4, 2013
Feast of St Francis
October 4th is the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) who is notable, among many things, for being the patron saint of animals and the environment (and by inference, of birds.) In observance of Francis, as I do each year, please permit me to share his 1220 "Sermon to the Birds."
It is said that one day, Francis and his companions came upon a place on the road where birds filled the trees on either side. Francis asked his companions to wait as "I go to preach to my sisters the birds."
He said: My sister birds, you owe much to God, and you must always and in everyplace give praise to Him; for He has given you freedom to wing through the sky and He has clothed you... you neither sow nor reap, and God feeds you and gives you rivers and fountains for your thirst, and mountains and valleys for shelter, and tall trees for your nests. And although you neither know how to spin or weave, God dresses you and your children, for the Creator loves you greatly and He blesses you abundantly. Therefore... always seek to praise God"