Monday, April 13, 2015

St Francis of Assisi, Canticle of the Creatures

This shrine is a card in the Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

Most High, all-powerful, good Lord,
Yours are the praises, the glory, and the honor, and all blessing,
To You alone, Most High, do they belong,
and no human is worthy to mention Your name.

Brother Sun

Praised be You, my Lord, with all Your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun,
Who is the day and through whom You give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor;
and bears a likeness of You, Most High One.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
in heaven You formed them clear and precious and beautiful.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Wind,
and through the air, cloudy and serene, and every kind of weather,
through whom You give sustenance to Your creatures.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water,
who is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom You light the night,
and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.
Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Mother Earth,
who sustains and governs us,
and who produces various fruit with colored flowers and herbs.

Praised be You, my Lord, through those who give pardon for Your love,
and bear infirmity and tribulation.
Blessed are those who endure in peace
for by You, Most High, shall they be crowned.

Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death,
from whom no one living can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin.
Blessed are those whom death will find in Your most holy will,
for the second death shall do them no harm.

Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks
and serve Him with great humility.

The shrine has a wonderful aura of innocence
through the use of children's plastic toy animals and the fake grass.
The pink halo of Sister Moon around 
St Francis' head shows his intuitive and sensitive nature.
He and St Chiara were seen as soulmates.

The beautiful golden Sir Brother Sun shimmers in the background.

I recently visited  the beautiful Assisi and 
Santa Maria degli Angeli where St Francis
lived and dwelled and this visit was the inspiration
for this shrine.
If you would like to read more about my
most recent pilgrimage to France and Italy,
follow my blog

Statue of Santa Chiara and St Francis in Assisi

Doves have nested in St Francis' statue's hands in the rose garden for centuries

I based my shrine on my own experiences and impressions
visiting St Francis in Assisi, during two separate pilgrimages,
years apart.

His Canticle of the Creatures really epitomises his spirit
of simplicity and love for all.  St Frances and Santa Chiara
were both vegetarians and many miracles with wild animals
and nature have been recorded.

I applied various techniques to the shrine to capture
the essence of the stone and light of Assisi, of the
basilica and of St Francis' robes, some of which
are still on display in Assisi.

I included the halos of Brother Sun and Sister Moon
and the many roses that he stands amongst, is a
reminder of the beautiful rose garden that still exists.
The rose bush, of which the thorns miraculously disappeared
when St Francis threw himself into the bush, is still
growing in this garden at the little church in
Santa Maria degli Angeli.
I brought this beautiful statue back from my trip
as it is so reminiscent of the statue in the rose garden
with the white nest turtle doves at this feet and
in his hands.

The shrine is ready to hang and has a beautiful image of 
St Francis on the back.

During this pilgrimage, as well as previous pilgrimages,
I visited well-known and lesser-known pilgrimage
sites that has special meaning and spiritual meaning to myself.
We weave our own tapestry of myth and meaning
of our inner lives, (as said earlier, you can read more
about this ideology on

Wherever I go, I collect petals of the flowers from
sacred shrines, even bits of soil from the earth
and sand from crypts.  I also carry with me
small vials of blessed salts and blessed petals
as well as holy water and holy oil.  These I touch
to the holy places and to the relics of Saints where
it is possible.  We are surrounded by energy and there
are places that have more intense spiritual energy
than other places.  Also some places you immediately
sense great Love and Compassion and other values
which some of us treasure.  In places like Lourdes
and Lisieux, in the garden of St Terese, the fragrance
was almost overpowering - although some people
smell nothing.

Included with this shrine, is small vial of blessed
salts and rose petals, lavender, as well as 
myrrh that I brought back on this pilgrimage.
The content of this bottle had been carried
by me, and touched to the crypt where St Francis
lies, as well as the crypt where St Chiara's body
lies and I had it with me during a mass in
Santa Maria degli Angeli!!