Francis composed The Canticle of the Creatures, known also as The Canticle of Brother Sun, during the spring of 1225, when he was sick at San Damiano, and was cared for by Clare and the Poor Sisters. 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.
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.
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.