The “Canticle of the Sun”, also known as the “Canticle of the Creatures” or “Laudes Creaturarum” (“Praise of the Creatures”), is a religious prayer composed by Saint Francis of Assisi. It was written in the Umbrian dialect of Italian but has since been translated into many languages. It is believed to be among the first works of literature, if not the first, written in the Italian language.[1]

The “Canticle of the Sun” in its praise of God thanks Him for such creations as “Brother Fire” and “Sister Water”. It is an affirmation of Francis’ personal theology as he often referred to animals as brothers and sisters to Mankind, rejected material accumulation and sensual comforts in favor of “Lady Poverty”.

Saint Francis is said to have composed most of the canticle in late 1224 while recovering from an illness at San Damiano, in a small cottage that had been built for him by Saint Clare and other women of her order. According to tradition, the first time it was sung in its entirety was by Francis and Brothers Angelo and Leo, two of his original companions, on Francis’ deathbed, the final verse praising “Sister Death” having been added only a few minutes before.

Original Text

Altissimu, onnipotente, bon Signore,
tue so’ le laude, la gloria e l’honore et onne benedictione.
Ad te solo, Altissimo, se konfano,
et nullu homo ène dignu te mentovare.
Laudato sie, mi’ Signore, cum tucte le tue creature,
spetialmente messor lo frate sole,
lo qual è iorno, et allumini noi per lui.
Et ellu è bellu e radiante cum grande splendore:
de te, Altissimo, porta significatione.
Laudato si’, mi’ Signore, per sora luna e le stelle:
in celu l’ài formate clarite et pretiose et belle.
Laudato si’, mi’ Signore, per frate vento
et per aere et nubilo et sereno et onne tempo,
per lo quale a le tue creature dài sustentamento.
Laudato si’, mi’ Signore, per sor’aqua,
la quale è multo utile et humile et pretiosa et casta.
Laudato si’, mi’ Signore, per frate focu,
per lo quale ennallumini la nocte:
ed ello è bello et iocundo et robustoso et forte.
Laudato si’, mi’ Signore, per sora nostra matre terra,
la quale ne sustenta et governa,
et produce diversi fructi con coloriti flori et herba.
Laudato si’, mi’ Signore, per quelli ke perdonano per lo tuo amore
et sostengo infirmitate et tribulatione.
Beati quelli ke ‘l sosterrano in pace,
ka da te, Altissimo, sirano incoronati.
Laudato si’, mi’ Signore, per sora nostra morte corporale,
da la quale nullu homo vivente pò skappare:
guai a·cquelli ke morrano ne le peccata mortali;
beati quelli ke trovarà ne le tue sanctissime voluntati,
ka la morte secunda no ‘l farrà male.
Laudate e benedicete mi’ Signore et rengratiate
e serviateli cum grande humilitate.

English translation

Canticle of the creatures

Highest, omnipotent good Lord!Yours are the praises, the glory, and the honour
And all blessingTo you, alone, Most High, do they belong.
No human lips are worthy To pronounce Your name.
Praised be You, my Lord with all Your creatures
Especially our brother, Master Sun Who brings the day and the light
that warms us he that is beautiful and radiantIn all his splendour!
He brings meaning of You, O Most High.
Praised be You, my Lord For Sister Moon and the Stars;
In the heavens You have made them
Precious and beautiful.
Praised be You, my Lord Through Brothers Wind And air, and clouds and storms,
And all the weather,Through which You give sustenance Your creatures.
Praised be You, my Lord
For Sister Water; So very useful, and humble And precious, and chaste.
Praised be You, my Lord For Brother Fire,Through whom you brighten the night
He who is beautiful and gay And vigorous and strong.
Praised be You, my Lord For our sister Mother Earth
Who feeds and governs us, And produces various fruits And coloured flowers and plants.
Praised be You, my Lord For those who forgive out of love for You;
And endure sickness and trial.
Happy those who endure in peaceFor by you, Most High, they shall be crowned.
Praised be You, my Lord For our Sister Bodily Death,
From whose embrace no living person can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin!
Happy those she finds Doing your most holy will.
The second death can do no harm to them!
Praise and bless my LordAnd give thanks
And serve him with great humility.

Source of English translation Wikipédia

#SaintFrancisofAssisi #SanFrancescodiAssisi #CanticodiFrateSole#CanticleoftheCreatures #Laudes Creaturarum

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