Saint Francis of Assisi Prayer? Nope.





Mother Teresa recited the simple prayer of St. Francis every day. Margaret Thatcher cited it upon becoming prime minister of Britain, and Alcoholics Anonymous included it in its “12 steps” book.

But something else is notable about the prayer that begins: “Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith.”

St. Francis of Assisi, who was born in the 12th century, probably had nothing to do with it.

An article published this week in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, said the prayer in its current form dates only from 1912, when it appeared in a French Catholic periodical.

And it became wildly popular only after it was reprinted in L’Osservatore Romano in 1916 at the behest of Pope Benedict XV, who wanted a prayer for peace in the throes of World War I.


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