Another suggestion for a short talk for collective worship in the primary school
|Talk to the children about Francis of Assisi (c.1181-1226)|
|How many of you have sisters or brothers?
Have you ever thought of the birds, or animals, as your sisters and brothers?
|Many years ago, in Italy, there lived a man called
Francis who felt a great love for all living creatures and who called
them his sisters and brothers.
Francis lived in the Middle Ages. His father was a merchant and his family were very rich. As a boy and a young man Francis enjoyed everything that money could buy. But a war broke out between his own town of Assisi and the nearby city of Perugia.
Francis became a soldier and fought for his own town. But he was captured and put in prison.
The months Francis spent in prison changed his life.
When he came home he devoted his life to caring for the poor and for birds and animals. Others joined him and he founded a religious order, a group of friars called Franciscans after him.
Francis had a special understanding of the world of nature. He believed that other living creatures are just as important as ourselves. He called them his brothers and sisters. One day he met a young man who was carrying a great cage filled with doves which he was going to sell.
Francis was afraid that the doves would be bought by cruel people who would hurt them, or even kill them. He asked the young man to give the doves to him. This the young man did.
Then Francis said to the doves, "O my little sisters, the doves, so simple, so innocent, so lovely. Why did you let yourselves be caught? I will save you from death and will make you nests so that you can live, and your numbers can increase, according to the will of God."
The doves lived from then on with Francis. They laid eggs in the nests he provided and soon the air was filled with the sounds of their cooing.
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