My sweet little sisters, birds of the sky, you are bound to heaven, to God, your Creator.
In every beat of your wings and every note of your songs, praise him.
He has given you the greatest of gifts, the freedom of the air.
You neither sow, nor reap, yet God provides for you the most delicious food, rivers, and
lakes to quench your thirst, mountains, and valleys for your home, tall trees to build
your nests, and the most beautiful clothing: a change of feathers with every season.
You and your kind were preserved in Noah’s Ark.
Clearly, our Creator loves you dearly, since he gives you gifts so abundantly.
So please beware, my little sisters, of the sin of ingratitude, and always sing praise to
(From The Little Flowers of St Francis)
The Little Flowers of St Francis is a text that was written about 50 years after Francis died. It records stories of Francis and his early followers. Many of the stories focus on Francis’ relationship with animals and birds. The sermon to birds is one that is particularly beloved. It would seem that Francis was something of an animal and bird “whisperer”.
The text of The Little Flowers of St Francis goes on:
“While Francis said these words, all those birds began to open their beaks, and stretch out their necks, and spread their wings, and bend their heads reverently toward the earth, and with acts and songs, they showed that the holy father [Francis] gave them great pleasure.”
Those of us who live on the Cathedral Precinct have found that the birds who live here appreciate it when we take the time to stop and say hello.
On Wednesday, The Feast of St Francis, The Season of Creation comes to its conclusion. May its blessing stretch well into the rest of the year.
First published in the St John’s Cathedral Precinct e-news on 2 October 2023.
Editor’s note: Everyone is invited to join in the St Francis Festival, a free fun community event at St Francis College (233 Milton Rd, Milton) on 14 October 2023 between 10am and 3pm. The event will include workshops, food, stalls, kids’ activities, music and pet blessings. Find out more by visiting the St Francis College website.Jump to next article