Tuesday, June 17, 2008

St. Francis of Assisi



St. Francis of Assisi, lover of all creation, champion of justice, Patron Saint of animals and the environment, founded the Franciscan Order.
St. Francis of Assisi experienced all of God's creation as sacred. He saw God in "Brother Sun" and "Sister Moon." He preached to the birds and animals.


Father Francis and his companions were making a trip through the Spoleto Valley near the town of Bevagna. Suddenly, Francis spotted a great number of birds of all varieties. There were doves, crows and all sorts of birds. Swept up in the moment, Francis left his friends in the road and ran after the birds, who patiently waited for him. He greeted them in his usual way, expecting them to scurry off into the air as he spoke. But they moved not.
Filled with awe, he asked them if they would stay awhile and listen to the Word of God. He said to them: “My brother and sister birds, you should praise your Creator and always love him: He gave you feathers for clothes, wings to fly and all other things that you need. It is God who made you noble among all creatures, making your home in thin, pure air. Without sowing or reaping, you receive God’s guidance and protection.”
At this the birds began to spread their wings, stretch their necks and gaze at Francis, rejoicing and praising God in a wonderful way according to their nature. Francis then walked right through the middle of them, turned around and came back, touching their heads and bodies with his tunic.
Then he gave them his blessing, making the sign of the cross over them. At that they flew off and Francis, rejoicing and giving thanks to God, went on his way.


ANIMAL BLESSINGS
For all animals:
Blessed are you, Lord God,maker of all living creatures.On the fifth and sixth days of creation,you called forth fish in the sea,birds in the air and animals on the land.You inspired St. Francis to call all animalshis brothers and sisters.We ask you to bless this animal.By the power of your love,enable it to live according to your plan.May we always praise youfor all your beauty in creation.Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures! Amen.


I was inspired to create this bracelet in a whimsical way with the same respect, honor and admiration to St. Francis. I added a whimsical cat brooch, handpainted glass beads with horses and birds, wood beads.

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