Franciscan Sister Artist Paints The Canticle of the Creatures

by Sister Mariella on August 25, 2013

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Artist Sister Mariella Erdmann (Silver Lake College of the Holy Family, Manitowoc, WI) comments on her painting The Canticle of the Creatures.


The painting, The Canticle of the Creatures, visually incorporates the ideas from St. Francis’ Franciscan-Sister-Mariella-Erdmannwritten Canticle of the Creatures.  The cross is central in the painting.  Francis totally immersed himself into the life of Jesus Christ crucified.  He was passionately in love with Christ.  Francis was a man who lived close to the earth, and in the natural world he found the glory of God revealed.  He saw all creation radiating from God.  It was because of this that he could call all creatures good.

In today’s world, our relationship to the elements of nature is often dimmed and not a part of our awareness.  What a pity to lose sight of this sensual reality that Francis was able to turn into mystical experience.

I have portrayed the four elements: fire, water, air and earth.  These elements are a part of Francis’ vision of God, creation, and the human soul. In Francis own words, “I wish to compose a new hymn about the Lord’s creatures, of which we make daily use, without which we cannot live, and with which the hu­man race greatly offends its Creator”, he gives the basis for his hymn.  Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Brother Water, Sister Air, Brother Fire and Mother Earth all become his companions in praising God.  With Francis we can pray, “Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks and serve Him with great humility.”

13 thoughts on “Franciscan Sister Artist Paints The Canticle of the Creatures”

  1. Sister Mary Ann says:

    Having had the blessed opportunity to be a the unveiling of this magnificent piece I am so struck by the movement, color, and creative beauty of this “Canticle of Creation!” To gaze upon it is a prayer for it touches the depths of how God moves our hearts! Thank you Sister Mariella for sharing the passionate glory of God with us through this wondrous piece!

  2. Sister Kathleen says:

    Sister Mariella, you’ve blessed us all again! What an amazing work you’ve shared. There’s so very much familiar symbolism in such a colorful and life-giving presentation! The joy of Francis leaps off the canvas in a visual song! Your talents are a wonderful gift to us and give us much to ponder and praise. I LOVE it!

  3. Sister Regina Rose says:

    It turned out so great, Sr. Mariella! Thank you for sharing your awesome and special gifts with the world!

  4. Sister Elaine says:

    May we daily become more aware of God’s presence among us. Thank you for helping us to
    be more conscious of God’s hand at work in our lives by sharing this beautiful
    piece of art in praise of God.

  5. Nothing could be better than to see this canvas in person! Francis must love this vibrancy!

  6. How very striking and beautiful is this lively and engaging piece of art. I praise and bless my Lord, Sr. Mariella, for your talent and generosity in sharing that talent!

  7. Sister Carla says:

    Sister Mariella, your painting is so beautiful. I love the colors, the movement and how everything leads from and moves toward the cross-Jesus Christ. It gives me the feeling that all in creation is one and yet is distinctive. It’s an image of God! Thank you for sharing it with us. I look forward to seeing the original.

  8. Sister Natalie says:

    ”The heavens are telling the GLORY of God and all creation is shouting for JOY!” Thank you, Sister Mariella, for giving us another interpretation of the wonder of God’s beauty through new eyes. This work of art has much to ponder for all who see it.

  9. Sister Ann Joachim says:

    This beautiful painting portrays the sun, the water, the air and earth in an abstract but interesting way. This huge painting is hung in the entrance of the new Music and Conservatory building, as part of Silver Lake College.The painting wants one to read and know The Canticle of Creatures written by St. Francis.

  10. Kelly Christine says:

    Truly beautiful Sr. Mariella.

  11. Sister Carol says:

    I am so happy to have a poster of your beautiful painting. I will treasure it. God bless you for creating it with the talents the Lord has given you. We are blest by them and you.

  12. Mia M says:

    How can I order a print? This is beautiful. I was just introduced to this prayer and am in love with it. I hope your print is available.

  13. Sister Julie Ann says:

    Please fill out the contact us form and we’ll see what we can do. Thanks for your interest in Sister Mariella’s art.

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