As indicated by the profile picture at the bottom left of this blog, Pam and I have followed some of the St Francis trail including several visits to the amazing Basilica in Assisi and Francis' tiny chapel enclosed in another great Basilica in the valley below Assisi.
But for me, the most fascinating of our visits was the bike-ride we took around the Spoleto valley which runs almost due south of Assisi. Riding down little used 'strada bianca' (white farm roads), gave a sense of the attraction Francis found in nature as a gift of God. Throughout the few days of the ride there was also, at night, a vivid illustration of the closeness of the starry firmament - though now, of course we are richly blessed by much more understanding of that firmament.
So here, on this day, seven hundred and eighty six years after Francis' death, is a further verse for my earlier published song that could be used on any Saint's day - and certainly during the upcoming All Saints'-tide at the beginning of next month. In fact the song, as it is written, is more appropriate to All Saints with the placement of the apostrophe in the first line; so it takes the view that on any Saint's festival, we do, in a real sense, commemorate all the Saints of God through the celebration of the particular Saint.
Finally, before the celebratory verse itself: it is a sobering thought that we celebrate personalities in this twenty-first century for far less compelling reasons than looking at the lives of Saints as examples - often ordinary people in all sorts of places who have risked and still do risk 'a hostile world'.
Ah well! Here's the verse, the full praise song can be found at This is a Day of Celebration which incorporates this latest verse
This is a Day of Celebration - verse for Saint's days
This is a day for Saints’ remembrance,
Women and men who’ve loved the Lord
And by their lives drew others to Him,Risking a hostile world.