|First Line:||Make me a channel of your peace|
|Author (attributed to):||St. Francis of Assisi|
|Refrain First Line:||O Master, grant that I may never seek|
|Copyright:||© 1967, OCP Publications.|
The Prayer of Saint Francis is a Catholic Christian prayer. It is widely but erroneously attributed to the 13th-century saint Francis of Assisi. The prayer in its present form cannot be traced back further than 1912, when it was printed in Paris in French, in a small spiritual magazine called La Clochette (The Little Bell), published by La Ligue de la Sainte-Messe (The Holy Mass League). The author's name was not given, although it may have been the founder of La Ligue, Fr. Esther Bouquerel.
A professor at the University of Orleans in France, Dr. Christian Renoux, published a study of the prayer and its history in French in 2001 - (Renoux, Christian (2001). La prière pour la paix attribuée à saint François: une énigme à résoudre. Paris: Editions franciscaines.)
The prayer has been known in the United States since 1927 when its first known translation in English appeared in January of that year in the Quaker magazine Friends' Intelligencer (Philadelphia), where it was attributed to St. Francis of Assisi. Cardinal Francis Spellman and Senator Albert W. Hawkes distributed millions of copies of the prayer during and just after World War II.
all st. = Phil. 2:12-13
ref. = Acts. 20:35
This text is based on a well-known prayer attributed to Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscan Order. Originally in Latin, the prayer appeared in various nineteenth century documents (the English translation begins "Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace").
Like 544, "Make Me a Channel" is a fervent, personal prayer but one that is overtly social in its application. In it the believer asks to be a vehicle of divine peace and biblical shalom, one through whom God works "to will and to act according to his good purpose" (Phil. 2:12b-13). The fruit of the Spirit, including love, faith, hope, and joy, will be the channel of reconciliation and peace to a world troubled by hatred, doubt, despair, and sadness. The refrain's theme is characteristic of Francis's Christian ministry and reflects the meaning of Jesus' words quoted by Luke in Acts 20:35, "It is more blessed to give than to receive."
The versification and melody of this setting are the work of Johann Sebastian Temple (b. Pretoria, Transvaal, South Africa, 1928), a member of the Franciscan Order. By the time he was fifteen, Temple had published a novel and two books of poems in Afrikaans. He studied anthropology at the University of South Africa and pre-Renaissance art in Italy. After living in England for six years, he became a monk in a yoga monastery in India. When he moved to the United States, he entered the Franciscan Order. Temple is a singer and a songwriter who has recorded his songs on twelve albums.
Many occasions of worship that focus on the Christian virtues that Francis enumerates; as a sung part of other spoken prayers at the beginning or end of the congregational prayer.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook