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St. Francis

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St. Francis
b. 1182 d. 1226
Feastday: October 4
Patron of Ecologists
and Merchants

"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures
from the shelter of compassion and pity,
you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men."

-- St. Francis of Assisi

St. Francis of Assisi practiced true equality by showing honor, respect, and love to every person whether they were beggar or pope.

Francis' brotherhood included all of God's creation. Much has been written about Francis' love of nature but his relationship was deeper than that. We call someone a lover of nature if they spend their free time in the woods or admire its beauty. But Francis really felt that nature, all God's creations, were part of his brotherhood. The sparrow was as much his brother as the pope.

In one famous story, Francis preached to hundreds of birds about being thankful to God for their wonderful clothes, for their independence, and for God's care. The story tells us the birds stood still as he walked among him, only flying off when he said they could leave.

Another famous story involves a wolf that had been eating human beings. Francis intervened when the town wanted to kill the wolf and talked the wolf into never killing again. The wolf became a pet of the townspeople who made sure that he always had plenty to eat.

Francis is considered the founder of all Franciscan orders and the patron saint of ecologists and merchants.

(The above was taken from Catholic Online Saints)

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American Catholic Org.--St. Francis

ANIMAL BLESSINGS

For all animals:

Blessed are you, Lord God,
maker of all living creatures.
On the fifth and sixth days of creation,
you called forth fish in the sea,
birds in the air and animals on the land.
You inspired St. Francis to call all animals
his brothers and sisters.
We ask you to bless this animal.
By the power of your love,
enable it to live according to your plan.
May we always praise you
for all your beauty in creation.
Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures!

Amen.

For a sick animal:

Heavenly Father,
you created all things for your glory
and made us stewards of this creature.
If it is your will, restore it to health and strength.
Blessed are you, Lord God,
and holy is your name for ever and ever.
Amen

(The above prayers were taken from St. Anthony Press)

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REVERENCE FOR LIFE

The basis of human ethic begins with a reverance for life.

Without the basic ethic of reverance for life, humanity harming itself (beyond other life) is inevitable. Every creature is important. All life is created by God, and demands reverence; that which is sentient, demands compassion as well.

"......a system of values which concerns itself only with our relationship to other people is incomplete and therefore lacking in power for good. Only by means of reverence for life can we establish a spiritual and humane relationship with both people and all living creatures within our reach. Only in this fashion can we avoid harming others, and, within the limits of our capacity, go to their aid whenever they need us."
--Albert Schweitzer

To  evolve en masse we must start at the foundation,  at the very basics of this ethic.  Before humanity can treat itself humanely, it must develop this reverence for life. They cannot be mutually exclusive.

"He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men.
We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals."

-- Immanuel Kant

"Anyone who has accustomed himself to regard the life of any
living creature as worthless is in danger of
arriving also at the idea of worthless human lives."

-- Albert Schweitzer

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress
can be judged by the way its animals are treated."

-- Gandhi

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