Soliloquy in an International Cloister

Watch your step as Brother Lawrence takes you inside the monastery walls of a five hundred year-old international order. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll wish you had ignored your hormones and joined the monastery.

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Location: Rome, Italy

26 August 2010

Really, really ahead of his time

The most popular of the writings of Saint Francis of Assisi (ca. 1881 - 1226) is almost certainly the "Peace Prayer of St Francis". The only problem is that he never actually wrote it. The prayer, whose author is unknown, was printed on the back of a holy card bearing the image of St Francis, which led to its being attributed to the saint from Assisi.

What should be the most popular writing of St Francis is his "Canticle of the Creatures," a beautiful poem in which he calls all of creation his brother and sister, and asks them to praise their Creator. The poem inspired the title of Zefferelli's film "Brother Sun, Sister Moon", and for the popular hymn, "All Creatures of Our God and King". One of our monasteries used the poem in a recent fundraising letter, which elicited a rather strong response from one of its donors, which can be paraphrased as follows: "How dare you print this New Age crap. I will never donate to you again!"

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Blogger Bad Hippie said...

As both a fundraiser and a former religion student (B.A. Oberlin College '99), this makes me ... laugh. And cry, just a little bit. It's amazing how forcefully people will comment on something they know nothing about!

10 November, 2010 18:14  

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