Franciscan Prayer

Who were St. Francis and St. Clare?

St. Francis & St. Clare lived in the late 12th and early 13th centuries in Assisi — in the Umbria region of Italy. St. Francis founded the Franciscan Order and together they founded the order of Poor Clares. The humility and poverty of the Incarnation of Jesus is the pattern and model for Franciscan life. St. Francis unites all those who are concerned for the protection of animals and environmental issues. Pope John Paul II, on Nov. 29, 1979, proclaimed him ‘Patron of Ecologists’!

What is Franciscan Prayer?

Franciscan prayer incorporates distinctive elements and themes. This form of prayer is a free-flowing, spontaneous, informal praising and loving dialogue with God. It uses the five senses to appreciate all that we see, hear, smell and taste in our lives at work, study and rest. Acts of loving service to others are also a form of prayer that is in line with Franciscan spirituality. It is forgiving of the past and hopeful about the future.

How do I do it?

It is best done outdoors where you can be in touch with nature and can move freely from one place to another. An ideal place would be a retreat centre where there are plenty of trees, plants, birds, and perhaps a deer or two, or other small animals within the gardens.

Prayer Suggestion 1

  • Go to a place where you encounter nature first hand
  • Feel the beauty and freshness of nature
  • Pick up a flower or a leaf that attracts your attention
  • Reflect on the way God has created it
  • Glorify and praise God in prayer for this gift of nature and for all the good that you experience that very moment

Prayer Suggestion 2

  • Think of a person you love dearly
  • Ask yourself, “How can I see the presence of God in this person?”
  • Praise and thank God for this person and their gifts, especially their love for you and your response of love for them

Prayer Suggestion 3

  • Think of a person you have difficulty loving
  • Try to see some of God’s goodness, love, life, truth, and beauty in this person
  • Ask yourself, “How can I foster and increase the presence of God in this person?”
  • Pray that, with God’s help, you grow in your ability to better love this person
  • Pray that this person may be blest in the growth of their relationships with others

Additional Resources:
St. Francis bio from Franciscans of Eastern Canada
St. Anthony Messenger article on Franciscan Prayer
Peace Prayer