Papal encyclical to be released June 18

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment, "Laudato Sii" (Praised Be), a line from St. Francis of Assisi's "Canticle of Creatures," will be released June 18, the Vatican press office announced.

"The date foreseen for the publication of the encyclical of the pope is Thursday, June 18," said the statement released June 4.

The head of the Vatican publishing house, Salesian Father Giuseppe Costa, had told reporters in Naples May 30 that publishers from around the world had been asking for the rights to reprint "Laudato Sii" when it is released in mid-June.

"Laudato sii" is the introductory phrase to eight verses of St. Francis of Assisi's famous prayer thanking God for the gifts of creation.

"Praised be you, my Lord, with all your creatures, especially Sir Brother Sun, who is the day, and through whom you give us light," one of the first lines says.

The prayer also praises God for the gifts of "Sister Moon," "Brother Wind," "Sister Water," "Brother Fire" and "Sister Mother Earth."

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015