Introductory Note:

Today (October 4) is the Feast Day of St. Francis.

In celebrating St. Francis of Assisi this week, our minds are recalled to this sweet poem, written in the margins of a monastic primer in the 9th century, about the twin pursuits of a monk and his cat, Pangur Bán. There is something of the touch of Francis about these lines—a genuine respect and appreciation for this little cat, a fellow creature who is as assiduously focused on his God-appointed task as the monk himself! If you have ever enjoyed the pleasures of working in the company of an animal friend, today’s post is for you!

(Translated from the Irish by Robin Flower.)

Renovaré Team

I and Pan­gur Ban my cat,
Tis a like task we are at:
Hunt­ing mice is his delight,
Hunt­ing words I sit all night.

Bet­ter far than praise of men
Tis to sit with book and pen;
Pan­gur bears me no ill-will,
He too plies his sim­ple skill.

Tis a mer­ry task to see
At our tasks how glad are we,
When at home we sit and find
Enter­tain­ment to our mind.

Often­times a mouse will stray
In the hero Pan­gur’s way;
Often­times my keen thought set
Takes a mean­ing in its net.

Gainst the wall he sets his eye
Full and fierce and sharp and sly;
Gainst the wall of knowl­edge I
All my lit­tle wis­dom try.

When a mouse darts from its den,
O how glad is Pan­gur then!
O what glad­ness do I prove
When I solve the doubts I love!

So in peace our task we ply,
Pan­gur Ban, my cat, and I;
In our arts we find our bliss,
I have mine and he has his.

Prac­tice every day has made
Pan­gur per­fect in his trade;
I get wis­dom day and night
Turn­ing dark­ness into light.

📚 The 2022 – 23 Ren­o­varé Book Club

This year’s nine-month, soul-shap­ing jour­ney fea­tures four books, old and new, prayer­ful­ly curat­ed by Ren­o­varé. Now under­way and there’s still time to join.

View Selections & Learn More >