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The Jan. 20, 2019, issue editorial (“Seeking Moral Coherence”) rightfully chastises Nancy Pelosi for “quot[ing] great saints moments before introducing legislation to promote the destruction of the unborn.” However, perhaps many readers failed to appreciate the full irony of what great saints Pelosi was actually quoting.
In her recent speech as the new speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi spoke of St. Francis of Assisi being the patron saint of her town: San Francisco, California. She then referred to “whose song of St. Francis is our anthem: ‘Lord, make me a channel of thy peace,’ as we beautifully sang in church this morning.” No surprise there, since she quoted from that same “anthem” in January 2007, when she became the first-ever female speaker of the House.
However, as well documented by scholars and Capuchin leaders, there is no evidence that St. Francis of Assisi ever wrote, said or sang today’s often-quoted “Peace Prayer” of St. Francis of Assisi. That prayer is an English translation of “A Beautiful Prayer to Say During Mass” (author not given) found in the December 2012 issue of the small devotional French-Catholic publication La Clochette, edited by Father Esther Bouquerel.
The full irony is that the Peace Prayer of St. Francis was publicly cited, recited, prayed and promoted by two strongly pro-life saints of the past 100 years: Pope St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Calcutta.