Report: Papal encyclical named after St. Francis prayer of praise

Pope Francis walks near a statue of St. Francis as he visits the hermitage and cell of St. Francis in Assisi, Italy, in 2013. St. Francis spent time in prayer at the hermitage in the countryside outside Assisi. (CNS/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis walks near a statue of St. Francis as he visits the hermitage and cell of St. Francis in Assisi, Italy, in 2013. St. Francis spent time in prayer at the hermitage in the countryside outside Assisi. (CNS/Paul Haring)

(UPDATE: Encyclical named after St. Francis prayer to be released June 18)

By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment will be titled “Laudato Sii” (Praised Be), a line from St. Francis of Assisi’s “Canticle of Creatures,” and will be released June 16, said the head of the Vatican publishing house.

Salesian Father Giuseppe Costa, speaking at an event in Naples May 30, told reporters that publishers from around the world had been asking for the rights to reprint “Laudato Sii” when it is released in mid-June.

The Vatican press office declined to confirm the title of the document and the release date, although it also declined to say Father Costa was wrong.

“Laudato sii” is the introductory phrase to eight verses of St. Francis of Assisi’s famous prayer thanking God for the gifts of creation.

“Praised be you, my Lord, with all your creatures, especially Sir Brother Sun, who is the day, and through whom you give us light,” one of the first lines says.

The prayer also praises God for the gifts of “Sister Moon,” “Brother Wind,” “Sister Water,” “Brother Fire” and “Sister Mother Earth.”

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