Pope Francis letter on the Environment so that in mind here are some stories of Saint and Animals ‘Soul Institue’

It is said of St Joseph of Cupertino (1663) that ‘his life was one long successions of ecstasies, miracles of healing, and supernatural happenings.” Among the phenomena mentioned was his influence over animals. On one occasion, when he saw a lamb in the garden, he became lost in the contemplation of the spotless Lamb of God and levitated in the air with the animal in his arms.”

The monastery of St Martin De Porres (1639) at one time had a terrible problem with mice rummaging in the kitchen and storerooms and even invading the wardrobe room, ruining the clothing and bed lines.The saint was ordered to purchase a quantity of poison and spread it around, but the saint protested, saying that the aim was to get rid of the little animals-not necessarily to kill them-and that he knew a solution. A bargain was reached…The saint then left the infirmity and went to the hole where most of the mice came in on the ground floor. There in the opening was a small gray mouse, who listened as St Martin spoke to him. It was told to notify the others that they were not to do any more mischief in the monastery, but were to leave the building and retire to the shed and stable, where he would feed them. In a few moments there was a continuous scuttling sound, then the other friars noticed a large number of rats and mice going out of the building.”

A dog is mentioned in the history of St Dominic (1221) and pertains to a vision experienced by the Saint’s mother before his birth. The vision consisted of a dog bearing in its mouth a lighted torch, which she understood to indicate the future greatness of her son, who would set fire to the world and kindle and illuminate men’s hearts through the ministry of his words.”

Saint Francis spoke of ‘mother earth, sister water, brother fire, brother moon. One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is the gift of piety. When we have the gift of piety we see God as our Father, people as sisters and brothers, and even creation itself as our sister and brother. With the gift of piety we are in relationship with all of creation. Antonio Royo Martin OP in his book ‘The Great Unknown’ writes about the Holy Spirit gift of piety, ” Considering all things even purely material things as pertaining to the house of the Father. What a profound religious sense is discovered in all things by those souls that are ruled by the gift of piety! St Francis ardently embraced a tree because it was ‘his brother’ in God. St Paul of the Cross would become ecstatic over the little flowers in his garden because they to him they spoke of the heavenly Father. Saint Therese broke into tears of tenderness when she contemplated a hen gathering its chicks under its wing.”

Last year some beautiful swallows built a nest above the door outside my office. It was always a joy to greet them. I would stop and say, “Good morning.”

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