New York: Duffield and Company, 1907. First edition thus. Small thin octavo, original decorated paper boards over black cloth spine, uncut. Very modest edge-wear to boards. Nearly-fine. Item #333
"PRAISE BE TO THEE, O LORD, FOR OUR MOTHER THE EARTH" Charming 1907 rendition of The Canticle of the Sun. The years preceding Francis's death in the fall of 1226 were a time of decline: "Francis's last few years were filled with pain and discomfort, from both his eyes and the stigmata. Still, he composed during this time his joyful 'Canticle of Brother Sun,' which he wrote on his last visit to San Damiano. It was a final expression of his lifelong love of creation and his innate sense of the sacramentality, or holiness, of all things, animate or inanimate." (James Martin, My Life with the Saints). St. Francis's tribute to "Mother Earth, Sister Moon, and Brother Sun" is presented here in black text framed within floral borders printed in red. "Francis had a vivid sense of the sacramentality of creation. All things, whether living or inanimiate, reflected their Creator's love and were thus due reverence and wonder. In this spirit he composed his famous 'Canticle of Creation,' singing the praises of Brother Sun, Sister Moon, and even Sister Death. Altogether his life and his relationship with the world--including animals, the elements, the poor and sick, as well as prices and prelates, women as well as men, represented the breakthrough of a new model of human and cosmic community." (Robert Ellsberg, All Saints). Pope Francis summoned the spirit of his namesake in his 2015 encyclical letter Laudato Si ("Praise be to You"): "In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. 'Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs.' ”.