St. Francis Novena, Day Four
As you remember your personal intentions, let us thank God for the beauty of nature and pray for harmony with all creation.
We connect St. Francis with the beauty of our gardens, forests, and oceans—idealizing him as a poetic, holy man—the patron saint of creation. Our romantic images of him miss the deeper reality of his life. He became saintly by the way he responded to disaster.
Perhaps we have a similar path.
Francis was forced into a major adjustment, a simplification, of his assumptions and self-image when he lost everything of value in his life after his army was defeated in battle in 1202 and he was taken prisoner and thrown into prison for a year. In that horrible year, he lost practically everything: his freedom, family, friends, health, and his delusions about himself. His world collapsed and he was miserable. It was a disaster.
Eventually Francis was ransomed from prison by the community of Assisi and was gradually healed by the simplicity and strength of the natural world around him. Water, so pure and simple, became his sister. Fire, so strong, bright, and very useful, was his new brother. The earth that provided him with sustenance became his mother. These became his life-sustaining “family”—a gift from a generous, good God.
Today we are surrounded by ecological disasters such as flooding, fires, and droughts, which threaten life on this planet as we know it. Nature is forcing us into major readjustments and to new appreciation and cooperation as visitors on this most beautiful blue, green planet—God’s gift. Like St. Francis, we can move by choice from disaster and assume our role and responsibilities with our extended family in our beautiful home.
(Fr. John Quigley, OFM, is a visual artist living in Cincinnati, Ohio.)
Pray the Novena to St. Francis of Assisi
Read by Fr. Murray Bodo, OFM
St. Francis saw God in all of His creation and praised God for this wonder. Post your prayer intentions to him on our Prayer page.
The Novena to St. Francis of Assisi
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Poor and humble St. Francis, through your kind intercession we seek to love God above all things. We seek the faith, hope, and love that moved you to joyfully renounce honors and riches and to radically follow our Lord Jesus Christ.
Pray for us that we come to see the privilege of suffering with and for the poor after the example of Jesus. Help us to be always grateful for all the blessings we have received and give us the strength to overcome our most pressing concerns.
(Include your personal intentions now.)
Holy St. Francis, your concern for God’s creation caused you to be named patron of ecology. May we, through your prayers, follow your footsteps in being good stewards of all of creation which God our Creator has provided. May we also be faithful stewards of the skills and abilities we have been given.
St. Francis, help us to continue praying for the grace to truly repent and change our hearts by actively seeking reconciliation with God and all those we have offended or hurt in any way. May the blessings we receive through your intercession deepen our faith and inspire us to store up treasures in heaven, where we hope to spend eternity with our loving God.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.
St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us!
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
Post your prayer requests on our Prayer Page.
Videos and articles on St. Francis at Franciscan Media.
We follow Jesus in the footsteps of St. Francis, learn more at Franciscan.org