Friday, October 04, 2013

St. Francis preaches to the birds

"Once when Francis was passing near a certain village he noticed a large flock of birds of different kinds all gathered together.  Leaving his companions and going eagerly towards them, as they seemed to be awaiting him, he gave them his accustomed greeting.  Surprised that they did not fly away as they generally do, he started talking to them: Brother birds, you ought to praise and love your Creator very much!  He has given you feathers for clothing, wings for flying, and everything you need.  He has made you the noblest of his creatures, for he has appointed the pure air for your habitation.  You have neither to sow nor to reap, yet he takes care of you, watches over you and guides you.  At this [as he used to relate himself] the birds began to rejoice after their fashion, stretching out their necks, spreading their wings, opening their beaks and looking at him, whilst he went to and fro amonst them, stroking their heads and bodies with the fringe of his tunic, and finally making the sign of the cross over them and sending them away with his blessings."

~from "The Wisdom of St. Francis and his Companions," compiled by Stephen Clissold

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