St. Francis composed The Canticle of the Creatures during the spring of 1225, when he was sick at San Damiano.
Most high, omnipotent, good Lord,
Praise, glory and honor and benediction all, are thine.
To thee alone do they belong, most high,
And there is no man fit to mention thee.
Praise be to thee, my Lord, with all thy creatures,
Especially to my worshipful brother sun,
The which lights up the day, and through him dost thou brightness give;
And beautiful is he and radiant with splendor great;
Of thee, most high, signification gives.
Praised be my Lord, for sister moon and for the stars,
In heaven thou hast formed them clear and precious and fair.
Praised be my Lord for brother wind
And for the air and clouds and fair and every kind of weather,
By the which thou givest to thy creatures nourishment.
Praised be my Lord for sister water,
The which is greatly helpful and humble and precious and pure.
Praised be my Lord for brother fire,
By the which thou lightest up the dark.
And fair is he and gay and mighty and strong.
Praised be my Lord for our sister, mother earth,
The which sustains and keeps us
And brings forth diverse fruits with grass and flowers bright.
Praised be my Lord for those who for thy love forgive
And weakness bear and tribulation.
Blessed those who shall in peace endure,
For by thee, most high, shall they be crowned.
Praised be my Lord for our sister, the bodily death,
From the which no living man can flee.
Woe to them who die in mortal sin;
Blessed those who shall find themselves in thy most holy will,
For the second death shall do them no ill.
Praise ye and bless ye my Lord, and give him thanks,
And be subject unto him with great humility.
The Canticle was composed in the Umbrian dialect and contains three sections: a praise of God for the creatures (sun, moon, stars, wind, water, fire, earth), a praise for those who forgive for the love of God, and a praise for sister bodily death. Only the first section of the Canticle was composed at San Damiano, whereas the section on forgiveness was composed in the episcopal palace in Assisi where the sick Francis resided for some weeks in September 1226, and the section on sister death was composed at the Portiuncula, some time before Francis died on October 3, 1226.
Altissimu, onnipotente, bon Signore,
tue so’ le laude, la gloria e ‘honore et onne benedictione.
Ad te solo, altissimo, se konfàno 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, et 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 quelli ke morrano ne le peccata mortali; beati quelli ke trovarà ne le tue santissime voluntati, ka la morte secunda no ‘l farrà male.
Laudate et benedicete mi’ Signore’ et ringratiate et serviateli cum grande humilitate.