All Creatures Great And Small

Today is World Animal Day. It happens to fall on the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi.

St. Francis is noted as saying:

If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.

St Francis is probably the most beloved of the Catholic saints. He was born in Umbria, Italy in 1181 and founded the order of the Franciscans. He had a deep love and reverence not only for all animals but for nature. It is significant that as well as being the patron saint of animals he is the patron saint of the environment.

St Francis was noted for his gentle manner and his charisma. Animals flocked to him. I have seen that kind of temperament in some animal rights activists I know as well as some animal welfare workers. Animals are extremely intuitive and can sense a kindred spirit a mile off.

We need you now, St Francis, more than ever.

I don’t pray much in the orthodox sense but I have an old St Francis medallion from long ago and I raise it to the skies a lot praying that things will change. We need to save our endangered species, we need to ensure the sustainability of biodiversity. We need to realise we are the caretakers of this planet and everything on it. I think that if we succeed in saving animals and the natural world that we will also be successful in saving ourselves.

From what I have read of St Francis he had an understanding of the connectedness of life. If he had been around when John Lennon was writing I Am The Walrus I am sure he would have got the idea behind the lyric –
I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.

Like it or not, we are all connected.

Animal, human, bird, fish and bug. We are all part of the wonder of the world.

At the moment the gorilla, tiger and polar bear populations of the world are critically endangered. You can help.

You can adopt an animal today. I have adopted a gorilla. You can also help raise awareness by following WWF (World Wildlife Fund) on Twitter or Facebook.

You can make a difference.

It is worth it to try.

After all, in spite of being different species, we all have faces

that somebody loves.

9 thoughts on “All Creatures Great And Small

  1. I got a penguin for Christmas one year, and it was the best gift ever. I’ve also been fortunate to receive a flock of chickens, a bee hive, and part of a donkey.

    WWF, Heifer International, Wolf Haven… just to name a few. St. Francis would have been pleased (although not because we need these organizations due to declining populations, but because we have people who care enough to create them).


  2. Linda McCartney said many times that she couldn’t eat anything that had a face. What a kind, caring person she was and one that helped so many animals and people to be aware.

    This is a wonderful post Sel. We all need to care, we all need to stand up for the innocent creatures of the world, animals and people included. If we don’t all is lost. Thank you for helping this cause along.

    Hugs to you my friend, G


  3. That is a very beautiful post and St. Francis a beautiful saint. In the Jewish tradition there is a prohibition against “Tsar Baaley Chaim,” the suffering of living creatures. It even gets so specific that people aren’t allowed to sit down for a meal before they feed their pets and farm animals, lest they forget once they are satiated.


  4. Hi KAREN:
    I’ve had dugongs, tigers, polar bears, koalas…even trees. When someone asks me what they can get me as a gift I always say an animal or a tree. It makes me very happy. And yes, having those people who care enough to create those organisations is a wondrous thing. I have such admiration for them!

    Linda McCartney did a lot of extraordinary work. The problem with any issue like this is that people want to help but don’t know where to begin. Raising awareness is a good place to start.

    I know of the tradition. I used to have a very good friend who was a rabbi and we would discuss such things. Much of the Jewish tradition for me is quite beautiful and very relevant to modern day concerns. There is much to learn from other faiths.


    If I can do even the littlest thing to help animals, then I feel better. It really is worth giving it a go!

    What a great point you make. I totally agree. I really appreciate you visiting!


    I haven’t watched that show yet. I’ll catch it soon. I love Stephen Fry. He did a great show about time travel. Totally mind bending. I love St. Francis too!


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