We began the lesson by discussing how some men and women are called by God to live their vocation in the religious life. This means that they are called to live in a religious community as brothers, sisters or priests.
One of the most well-known saints who was a member of a religious order was Francis of Assisi; in fact he started a religious order. He was the rich son of a merchant born in Italy in 1182. Whilst he was recovering from having been captured in a war, he started praying and thinking about his life. He thought about how Jesus had been poor and had helped everyone he met. Francis realised he had been selfish and not thought about anyone else. He gave all his riches away to the poor and sick and dressed himself in some clothes he took from a scarecrow in a field. Some of his friends thought he had gone mad.
Francis travelled around telling people about God’s love for them and encouraging them to love everyone. Other people joined him. They lived together in simple wooden huts and slept on the ground. They made three promises called vows; to be poor like Jesus and to share everything, to be obedient to God by following the rules they had agreed on and not to marry so they could give all their heart to God. Francis had a great love of nature and of birds and animals, because they reminded him of God and the wonderful gift of Creation. Francis wrote a beautiful hymn or canticle to God about Creation.
The children were then given their main activity for the lesson. They worked in pairs to explore the canticle and design a poster; explaining how it honoured God’s creation. They fed back their ideas at the end of the lesson.