Francesco di Bernardone, a young merchant living in Assisi, Italy, in the 1200s, gave up a life of affluence in favor of prayer and service to the poor. Known today as St. Francis of Assisi, he is also associated with taking joy in nature.

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Nearly 800 years after his death in 1226, St. Francis remains a beloved religious figure. The current Pope took him as a namesake. And Father Michael Lasky, a Franciscan friar at the Newman Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, is making connections between the saint’s words and a pressing issue of today — climate change.

In a recent video produced by David Salvesen of the University of North Carolina Institute for the Environment, Lasky reflects on the “Canticle of the Creatures,” composed by St. Francis in 1225. It contains praises for the natural world, including “Brother Sun” and “Sister Moon.”

“Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Wind,” his canticle says, “and through the air, cloudy and serene, and every kind of weather, through whom You give sustenance to Your creatures.”

In the video, Lasky says people of faith ought to care about climate change “because God is the father of all of us. God is the Creator of the world. And when God created the world, God called it good.”

This video is part of “a multimedia storytelling project about the daily lives of North Carolinians experiencing climate change,” funded by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. Produced by David Salvesen of the University of North Carolina Institute for the Environment, it is reposted here with permission.

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