On November 29, 1979, Pope John Paul II declared St. Francis the Patron Saint of Ecology, but perhaps we should more properly recognize him as an Ecumenical Saint of Restoration Ecology, Environmental Justice and Endangered Species Recovery. He not only lived in and cared for the wildest habitats of his time, but made peace with imperiled wolves, birds, invertebrates and marginalized cultures.
Recently, Pope Francis has drawn upon the inspiration of St. Francis in his Caring for Our Common Home encyclical, a poetic vision that has been widely celebrated by faith leaders, social justice advocates and conservation biologists alike.
That’s why these reflections are called Restoring Our Common Home—to daily inspire us to go out and do the humble work of restoring landscapes, watersheds, foodsheds, communities, species, neighborhoods and food-producing capacity among degraded places and peoples.
Brother Coyote, OEF