At home, serious questions were raised about his leadership.
He was isolated and besieged, but he maintained his focus.
In the midst of all his problems, he composed the following brief statement:
"Most High, all-powerful, all-good Lord,
All praise is Yours, all glory, all honour and all blessings.
To you alone, Most High, do they belong,
and no mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your Name.
"Praised be You my Lord with all Your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun,
Who is the day through whom You give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendour,
Of You Most High, he bears the likeness.
"Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
In the heavens you have made them bright, precious and fair.
"Praised be You, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
And fair and stormy, all weather's moods,
by which You cherish all that You have made.
"Praised be You my Lord through Sister Water,
So useful, humble, precious and pure.
"Praised be You my Lord through Brother Fire,
through whom You light the night
and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.
"Praised be You my Lord through our Sister,Mother Earth
who sustains and governs us,
producing varied fruits with coloured flowers and herbs.
"Praise be You my Lord through those who grant pardon
for love of You
and bear sickness and trial.
"Blessed are those who endure in peace,
By You Most High, they will be crowned.
"Praised be You, my Lord through Sister Death,
from whom no-one living can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin!
Blessed are they She finds doing Your Will.
No second death can do them harm.
"Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks,
And serve Him with great humility. "
Francis of Assisi would die a little more than a year later on this very day 782 years ago, in his mid-forties. He would be canonized within two years and is one of the most universally loved saints.
(adapted from a previous post)