On the Feast of St. Clare, August 11th, young adults from our diocese will begin pilgrimage to World Youth Day 2011. Before joining the Holy Father in Madrid, they will spend a day in Assisi. As part of their prayerful preparations, I had the privilege of offering a reflection and proclaiming St. Francis’ “Canticle of the Creatures.” In honor of these youthful witnesses, we feature “The Passion of the Christ, According to St. Francis.” Filmed in the saint’s beloved region, this 30 minute DVD includes an actor’s rendition of the Canticle, the Testament and scriptural verses traditionally proclaimed in Assisi’s Good Friday Procession. St Francis composed the Canticle over the course of many years. The verses about Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Brother Wind, Sister Water, and Mother Earth were composed during a period of intense physical suffering. The verses about reconciliation were prompted by a quarrel between Assisi’s civil and religious authorities. The final verses were composed on his deathbed. This hymn is infused with biblical language and imagery from the Books of Tobit, Psalms, and Daniel in the Hebrew Scriptures and the Revelation to John and the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. After reading Fr. Henri Nouwen’s book, Can You Drink the Cup?, I experienced the Canticle in a new way. Fr. Nouwen reflects on the question our Lord poses to James and John in Matthew Chapter 20: “Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?” Can we drink the cup of dying and rising with Christ? Can we live our lives in question before God? St. Francis refused the certainty of wealth and chose the question of poverty. He refused security within the walls of Assisi and chose the question of community with all creatures. As these young adults venture far from home, may our praise of our Lord of Creation accompany them! Use the on-line Order Form and request this title or search related resources with the key word: francis @ click here or call Dan Hardester or Diane Gallagher@ 407-246-4895 (or 4897).