The Canticle of the Sun

Jude and I both memorized “The Canticle of the Sun” by Saint Francis of Assisi during his second grade block on saints. Each week we focused on learning a single stanza, reciting it while rhythmically tossing bean bags back and forth. The images are so vivid and the pulse of creation is so profound, the poem practically begs to be rendered on paper. We painted the images using wet-on-wet watercolor techniques. (You can see my notes and insights on this medium here.) Jude pasted his paintings into a bound main lesson book, while I taped my together in an accordion-type display.


Praised be God for brother Sun,
Who shines with splendid glow,
He brings the golden day to us
Thy glory does he show!



Praised be God for sister Moon
And every twinkling star;
They shine in heaven most bright and clear
All glorious they are.



Praised be God for brother Wind
That storms across the skies;
And then grows still, and silent moves
And sweetly sings and sighs.



Praised be God for Water pure
Her usefulness we tell.
So humble, precious, clean and good,
She works for us so well.



Praised be God for brother Fire
Friendly, and wild, and tame;
Tender and warm, mighty and strong
A flashing, flaring flame.



Praised be God for mother Earth
Who keeps us safe and well;
Whose mother heart, all warm with love,
Dark in her depths doth dwell.



20 thoughts on “The Canticle of the Sun

  1. This is beautiful. I would love to know more about your saint studies… Do you choose just a couple saints to focus on? One per week or month? Research one intensively? St. Francis is one of my favorites and I love the artwork that you created with the inspiration of his prayer. I may have to borrow this idea!

    • I mostly used the saint stories from Live Ed and Christopherus. We used The Canticle as our warm up activity and then for our ML work we read about 2 saints per week and did summary sentences and drawings in an MLB. We also did a diorama of St. Cuthbert’s isle of Lindisfarne.

      Please borrow the idea! It was truly magical.

  2. Holy Smokes, Sheila! This is gorgeous… and brilliant… and incredibly rich! Wow. I am blown away… as usual. And as always, inspired by what you do, and how you do it… <3

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  4. I have just been contemplating which st/hero to work with this week and as we plan to paint everyday for the next two weeks….thank you for being so inspiring

    • Glad to help.
      Robin Hood has been a huge hit here as well. Jude is never without his bow and arrows.
      Also the Arthur legends.
      Never a lack of stories, huh?
      Hope you and that baby are well . . . and everyone else in your family too!

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