BY ISN STAFF | June 10, 2015
Today Vatican officials released the title of Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment and climate change. It will be titled, ‘“Laudato Si’: On the Care of Our Common Home.” The encyclical will be released on June 18th at a Vatican press conference which, according to Catholic News Service will feature, Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, who worked on early drafts of the text; Metropolitan John of Pergamon, a noted Orthodox theologian and top aide to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, a leader in the Christian ecology movement; and John Schellnhuber, founding director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany.
The title comes from the 13th century prayer written by Saint Francis of Assisi entitled Canticle of Brother Sun and Sister Moon. In the prayer Saint Francis offers praise to God through various elements of nature including “Sister Moon,” “Brother Wind and Air,” “Sister Water,” and “Brother Fire. Regis J. Armstrong, OFM, Cap. and Ignatius C. Brady, OFM, authors of “The Classics of Western Spirituality – Francis & Clare” emphasize the importance the words “brother” and “sister” throughout the prayer as illustrative of St. Francis’ “intimate and familiar with the wonders of creation that he embraces them as “Brother” and “Sister,” that is, members of one family.”
“The release of Pope Francis’s encyclical on climate change offers us some insight into how Pope Francis will engage the issue,” said Christopher Kerr, executive director of the Igantian Solidarity Network. “Most notable may be his emphasis on the fact that the Earth is truly our “common home.” The decisions that each country, each company, each person make about how we care for this creation impacts our brothers and sisters. I am certain that Pope Francis will be bold in pointing out how these choices especially impact those already marginalized by economic poverty and injustice.”
The encyclical comes in anticipation of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris scheduled to take place from November 30 to December 10. The UN has described the conference as “a crucial conference” to “achieve a new international agreement on the climate, applicable to all countries, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C.”
Canticle of Brother Sun and Sister Moon
St. Francis of Assisi
Most High, all-powerful, all-good Lord, All praise is Yours, all glory, all honour and all blessings.
To you alone, Most High, do they belong, and no mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your Name.
Praised be You my Lord with all Your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun,
Who is the day through whom You give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendour,
Of You Most High, he bears the likeness.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
In the heavens you have made them bright, precious and fair.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
And fair and stormy, all weather’s moods,
by which You cherish all that You have made.
Praised be You my Lord through Sister Water,
So useful, humble, precious and pure.
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 our Sister,
who sustains and governs us,
producing varied fruits with colored flowers and herbs.
Praise be You my Lord through those who grant pardon for love of You and bear sickness and trial.
Blessed are those who endure in peace, By You Most High, they will be crowned.
Praised be You, my Lord through Sister Death,
from whom no-one living can escape. Woe to those who die in mortal sin! Blessed are they She finds doing Your Will.
No second death can do them harm. Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks,
And serve Him with great humility.