Behind the Music - All Creatures of Our God and King
Sunday we will sing the hymn, “All Creatures of our God and King” which was written by Saint Francis of Assisi. Below is a short history of Saint Francis of Assisi.
This inspiring expression of praise found in nearly every hymnal was originally written in 1225 by one of the most interesting figures all of church history. Giovanni Bernardone, who was better know as Saint Francis of Assisi, was a mystic, medieval monk who spent his lifetime as an itinerant evangelist, preaching and helping the poor people of Italy. Saint Francis was born in Assisi, Italy, in 1182. After an early indulgent life as a soldier, he reformed his ways dramatically, at the age if twenty-five, and determined to serve God by imitating the selfless life of Christ in all that he did. Although his family were people of considerable means, Francis scorned the possession of material goods, denounced his inherited wealth, denied himself everything but the most meager necessities, and devoted himself completely to moving about his area as Christ’s representative. At the age of twenty-eight Francis founded the influential Franciscan Order of Friars, which developed into a large movement of young men and women who adopted his religious beliefs and ascetic style of life.
Saint Francis was known as a great lover of nature, seeing the hand of God in all creation. One of the well-known master painting from this time was done by the famous Italian artist, Giotto, and show Saint Francis feeding the birds . The following well-known verse was written in tribute to this man:
Saint Francis came to preach – with smiles he met the friendless, fed the poor,
freed a trapped bird, led home a child; Although he spoke no word-his text, God’s
love, the town did not forget.
Note: This particular hymn, “All Creature of our God and King”, is said to have been written one hot summer day in 1225, one year before his death, while Francis was very ill and suffering the loss of his eyesight. What an example and encouragement Francis of Assisi left for believers today.
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