Environment Encyclical: update

Pope Francis' much anticipated 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 16 June.

This news was announced by Fr Giuseppe Costa SDB, Director of the Vatican publishing house, at an event in Naples on Saturday 30 May. The Vatican press office declined to confirm the title of the document and the release date, although it also declined to say Fr Costa was wrong.

"Laudato sii" is the introductory phrase to St. Francis of Assisi's famous prayer thanking God for the gifts of creation.


Be praised, my Lord, through all Your creatures,
especially through my lord Brother Sun,
who brings the day; and You give light through him.
And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendour!
Of You, Most High, he bears the likeness.

Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars;
in the heavens You have made them bright, precious and beautiful.

Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
and clouds and storms, and all the weather,
through which You give Your creatures sustenance.

Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Water;
she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure.

Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom You brighten the night.
He is beautiful and cheerful, and powerful and strong.

Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth,
who feeds us and rules us,
and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.

Fr Costa 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.

Image: St Francis of Assisi preaching to the birds by Leonard McComb in Westminster Cathedral