Franciscan: Encyclical title affirms all creatures have common creator

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June 12, 2015

U.S. Franciscan Father Michael Perry, minister general of the Order of Friars Minor, is pictured at the Franciscan headquarters in Rome June 12. Father Perry discussed "Laudato Si'," the title of Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment, which is taken from a hymn by St. Francis of Assisi. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

U.S. Franciscan Father Michael Perry, minister general of the Order of Friars Minor, is pictured at the Franciscan headquarters in Rome June 12. Father Perry discussed “Laudato Si’,” the title of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, which is taken from a hymn by St. Francis of Assisi. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

ROME (CNS) — “Laudato Si’,” the title Pope Francis chose for his encyclical on the environment, comes from a hymn of praise by St. Francis of Assisi that emphasizes being in harmony with God, with other creatures and with other human beings, said the head of the Franciscan order.

Sitting under towering trees, surrounded by potted flowers and herbs in the garden of the Franciscan headquarters in Rome, U.S. Father Michael Perry, minister general of the Order of Friars Minor, sang the medieval Italian words “laudato si'” (praised be you) and recited the English translation of St. Francis’ “Canticle of the Creatures.”

The hymn praises God and the reflection of God’s glory in “Brother Sun” and “Sister Moon,” “Brother Fire” and “Sister Water,” and “our sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.”

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