Sunday, 4 October 2020

brother sun, sister moon

Fabulistically perhaps best-known for his ability to commune with Nature as a reflection of divinity and preaching to the birds—thus appointed patron saint of ecology in 1979 by Pope John Paul II, confessor, scholar and organiser Francis of Assisi (*1181 – †1226) is venerated on this day, the morning after having peacefully expired after receiving the stigmata from a vision of a crucified seraphim. Constituting religious orders for both men and women with significant political clout and endurance, Francis’ attempted a rapprochement with Al-Kamil, the Ayyubid sultan of Egypt, and put an end to the bloodshed of the Crusades and bring about peace. Though received graciously by the court of the sultan, the negotiations ultimately failed, although only the Franciscans were allowed to remain in the Holy Land after the fall of Crusader kingdoms as custodians on behalf of the Church.