Year of composition
The Canticle of the Sun, also known as the Laudes Creaturarum (Praise of the Creatures), is a religious song composed by Saint Francis of Assisi. It was written in the Umbrian dialect of Italian but has since been translated into many languages. It is believed to be among the first works of literature, if not the first, written in the Italian language.
The Canticle of the Sun in its praise of God thanks Him for such creations as “Brother Fire” and “Sister Water”. It is an affirmation of Francis’ personal theology as he often referred to animals as brothers and sisters to Mankind, rejected material accumulation and sensual comforts in favor of “Lady Poverty”.
Saint Francis is said to have composed most of the canticle in late 1224 while recovering from an illness at San Damiano, in a small cottage that had been built for him by Saint Clare and other women of her order. According to tradition, the first time it was sung in its entirety was by Francis and Brothers Angelo and Leo, two of his original companions, on Francis’ deathbed, the final verse praising “Sister Death” having been added only a few minutes before.
Historically, the “Canticle of the Sun” is first mentioned in the Vita Prima of Thomas of Celano, in 1228.