Romieu houses

“Romieu” just means “Pilgrim of Rome.” Our spiritual homes are called “Romieu houses” and our Four Pillars of Spirituality uphold our home in Rome. They are places of rest, joy, fellowship, community, prayer, family, and more. If you were to imagine a really pleasant pilgrim hostel imbued with the spirit of prayer, love, fraternity, and devotion, then you would have a sense of what Romieu houses are like. Our houses hold our special charism, a spirit emerging from the assembly of living stones, built by the hand of God through edification, penitence, mortification, trials, struggles, and much else. How to make sense of a pilgrim charism?

Many are familiar with Saint Francis’s Laudes Creaturaum (“Praise of Creatures” or “Canticle of the Creatures”). It reads (in English and in the original Umbrian dialect) as follows:

Most high, all powerful, all good Lord!
All praise is Yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing.

To You, alone, Most High, do they belong.
No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your name.

Be praised, my Lord, through all Your creatures,
especially through my lord Brother Sun,
who brings the day; and You give light through him.
And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor!
Of You, Most High, he bears the likeness.

Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars;
in the heavens You have made them bright, precious and beautiful.

Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
and clouds and storms, and all the weather,
through which You give Your creatures sustenance.

Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Water;
she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure.

Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom You brighten the night.
He is beautiful and cheerful, and powerful and strong.

Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth,
who feeds us and rules us,
and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.

Be praised, my Lord, through those who forgive for love of You;
through those who endure sickness and trial.

Happy those who endure in peace,
for by You, Most High, they will be crowned.

Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Bodily Death,
from whose embrace no living person can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin!
Happy those she finds doing Your most holy will.
The second death can do no harm to them.

Praise and bless my Lord, and give thanks,
and serve Him with great humility.

Ad Te solo, Altissimo, se konfano,
et nullu homo ène dignu te mentouare.

Laudato sie, mi Signore cum tucte le Tue creature,
spetialmente messor lo frate Sole,
lo qual è iorno, et allumini noi per lui.
Et ellu è bellu e radiante cum grande splendore:
de Te, Altissimo, porta significatione.

Laudato si, mi Signore, per sora Luna e le stelle:
in celu l’ài formate clarite et pretiose et belle.

Laudato si, mi Signore, per frate Uento
et per aere et nubilo et sereno et onne tempo,
per lo quale, a le Tue creature dài sustentamento.

Laudato si, mi Signore, per sor’Acqua,
la quale è multo utile et humile et pretiosa et casta.

Laudato si, mi Signore, per frate Focu,
per lo quale ennallumini la nocte:
ed ello è bello et iucundo et robustoso et forte.

Laudato si, mi Signore, per sora nostra matre Terra,
la quale ne sustenta et gouerna,
et produce diuersi fructi con coloriti fior et herba.

Laudato si, mi Signore, per quelli ke perdonano per lo Tuo amore
et sostengono infirmitate et tribulatione.

Beati quelli ke ‘l sosterranno in pace,
ka da Te, Altissimo, sirano incoronati.

Laudato si mi Signore, per sora nostra Morte corporale,
da la quale nullu homo uiuente pò skappare:
guai a quelli ke morrano ne le peccata mortali;
beati quelli ke trouarà ne le Tue sanctissime uoluntati,
ka la morte secunda no ‘l farrà male.

Laudate et benedicete mi Signore et rengratiate
e seruiteli cum grande humilitate.

Our seraphic father, Francis, instructs us to rebuild the Church. In his Canticle, he provides us with a blueprint to build up a holy house pleasing to God. Father Francis wants his sons and daughters to apply the meaning of his Canticle to expand the mission to preach the gospel to every creature. “I have done what is mine to do, now you must do what is yours to do,” he told us before leaving the world. With this in mind, we Pilgrims of the Holy Leaf are called Brothers of Fire and Wind, and Sisters of Earth and Water. Together we praise and worship God, Master of All, far brighter than the Sun, and honor the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen beyond the Mystic Moon. We love Creation because God first loved us creatures through it.

This is our prayer.

As Brothers of Fire, cloaked in color, may we consume all creatures in the furnace of God’s seraphic love.

As Sisters of Water, cloaked in color, may we soothe and refresh all creatures with the everlasting water of God’s Word.

As Brothers of Wind, cloaked in color, may we carry all creatures to God in the mystical whirlwind of prophecy.

As Sisters of Earth, cloaked in color, may we nourish all creatures with the integral beauty of Creation.

Praise the Divine Master of Creation, Jesus Christ, King of the Universe! May every creature praise Him with unceasing devotion and unending song, singing loudly and exuberantly:

Make me a channel of Your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, your pardon Lord.
Where there is doubt, true faith in you.

Divine Master, may we never seek.
So much to be consoled as to console.
To be understood, as to understand.
To be loved as to love with all my soul.


Make me a channel of Your peace.
Where there is despair, let me bring Your hope.
Where there is darkness, only light.
Where there is sadness, ever joy.


Divine Master, may we never seek.
So much to be consoled as to console.
To be understood, as to understan
d.
To be loved as to love with all my soul.

For it is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
In giving of ourselves that we receive.
And in dying, that we are born
to eternal life.