October 23

“All Creatures of Our God and King:” A Hymn by St. Francis

The first book in the Bible, Genesis, talks about the beginning of everything. It apparently presents God being the Creator and from Him comes every single creature that exists in the world. There are many beautiful songs written that praise God’s wondrous creations. One of which is the classic gospel tune “How Great Thou Art.” Prior to the existence of this best-loved hymn, a poem about God’s creation was written. It eventually became a perfect Call to Worship or opening hymn on Sunday services.


“All Creatures of Our God and King”

In the summer of 1225, St. Francis of Assisi wrote a poem originally known as “Canticle of the Sun” or “Song of All Creatures.” It took several centuries before the hymn became available in English. Thanks to Rev. Williams H. Draper who did a specific translation for a children’s Pentecost festival around 1910. Accordingly, Draper refashioned it into what we all know today as “All Creatures of Our God and King.”

According to literature, St. Francis began living a humble life that’s centered on Jesus soon after his release from the war. He gave up all his material wealth and began traveling to the countryside. He started preaching the gospel and pursuing to make Jesus Christ real and close to everyone he met. Moreover, his love of nature brought him closer to God’s creations and even preached little sermons to them. This understanding of nature is reflected in his hymn “All Creatures of Our God and King.”

St. Francis likely wrote the hymn in the garden of Assisi in Italy just before his death in 1225. It also drew reference from the book of Psalm 148 where it urges all creatures to worship God: The sun and moon, all the birds, all the clouds, all men and women of tender heart, all creatures of our God and King.

Listen to the uplifting interpretation of St. Francis’ “All Creatures of Our God and King” below.

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Garden of Assisi, God's Creations, St. Francis

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