This Lent I am running a mini course introducing the life of St Francis of Assisi. I have deliberately decided to run the course on a Tuesday night after our said Eucharist so that the homily at the Eucharist can also be on an aspect of St Francis’ life.
Many of us have images of St Francis as being a kind of saintly Doctor Dolittle – my abiding image of him is from my Ladybird Book of the Saints (pictured). Although St Francis did have a great love of creation and creatures (not a love of ‘nature’ as we might say) he was not particularly wet in character as many of the images we see of him now seem to convey.
I recently found this beautiful poem by Galway Kinnell (in the book Soul Food) which for me encapsulates Francis’ love for all living things in a way that is not sentimental or wet but powerful and moving. I will read this poem at the service tonight.
Saint Francis and the Sow