Closing Prayer – The Fourfold Franciscan Blessing

For use at the close of a service, particular one with a sermon:

The Four Fold Franciscan Blessing

May God bless you with discomfort. Discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart. Amen

May God bless you with anger. Anger at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace. Amen

May God bless you with tears. Tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and turn their pain into joy. Amen

May God bless you with foolishness. Enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done. Amen

World of Watches

11 thoughts on “Closing Prayer – The Fourfold Franciscan Blessing

  1. I think it does not matter whether it is Benedictine or Franciscan; it applies to us equally regardless and is beautiful and thought-provoking. Thank you for sharing it!

    • My thoughts exactly! It transcends even Christianity, as a daily reminder of how we should act as people, toward other people.

  2. We would like to print this Benedictine prayer in a free download, denominational worship resource for Mission Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012. May we do so? From whom do we get copyright permission?

  3. Hello, I am a Franciscan. This is NOT a Franciscan prayer. The blessing we use is from Numbers, Chapter 6, verses 24-26.

    • I’m very familiar with the blessing from Numbers. It’s fairly universal among Western Christians It rings with the same cadence as the old Irish blessing: “May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.”

  4. This prayer was composed approximately 25 years ago by Sr. Ruth Fox, OSB. She is Benedictine, not Franciscan.

    In the last couple of years it, or variations of it, have frequently appeared on the web attributing it to St. Francis of Assissi or the Franciscans, the latest being

    When I first saw this happening, I located Sister Ruth and asked her if she indeed were the prayer’s author. She replied saying

    “You are absolutely correct. I am the author of that prayer. I composed it in the spring of 1985 or thereabouts. I was chaplain at the Catholic Student Center at Dickinson State University, Dickinson, ND, and was asked to provide the Benediction for a graduation breakfast. It was totally original. I had never seen a similar prayer by Francis. It would be a great coincidence if there was a similar one. ”

    I ask you please to credit Sr. Ruth and give it a Benedictine attribution.

    • Hi. It’s great to know where this finally comes from. Are you still in contact with Sr Ruth. I would like to include this blessing in a book. I am a school chaplain working in the South East of England. My email is Could you pass on my details so that if possible I can put it in this book of resources. Thanks Kes

  5. Pingback: 4 Anti-Prayers to Screw Up Your Life (and Save It). « The Agnostic Pentecostal

What do you think?