Each year, the Pilgrims of Saint Francis are invited to reflect on a theme. In 2022/2023, the theme is :
“…we must rediscover the world of emotions that traditionally,
in all cultures, has presented water as an element of life,
of beauty and magic.
We must fall in love again with our rivers,
fall in love again with our rivers and their banks.
Rediscover the world of emotions contained while
sailing, swimming or just watching,
watching what happens, how it sounds,
how it talks, how it sings…
This theme ‘Water was proposed by the Companions of St. Francis in Germany. They have written
“Without water there is no life. Water is a precious resource, for nature and the environment”, “it is an indispensable good for human beings” (European Water Charter, Strasbourg 1968); “Everything has come out of water! Everything is preserved by water! …” (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe), Water: H²O; water drops, springs, rivers, lakes, sea, steam, clouds, rain; snow, ice, hail, glaciers, puddles, sweat, tears; water is a habitat for animals, plants, bacteria,…; we are 70% water; water is our livelihood; the glaciers melt, the land sinks into the sea; while elsewhere, deserts grow (thirst, drought, humidity, floods, tsunamis, avalanches…); nature is more powerful than us. How do we deal with it? Are we prepared for disasters caused by water? Water pollution, water purification, water privatisation, wastewater, waterworks, artificial snow; water is part of our daily life: What if we only had 2 litres/day/person? Water is life, a source of life. a symbol of purity. How do we treat the precious gifts of this earth? How can we treat these assets of life with more respect and care?”
Pedro Sanz from Spain has written a document exploring the issues – the urgency of the problem: the implications for agriculture, commerce and politics: the radical changes needed in our life styles and the symbolism of water in our religions.
To read more, the text can be downloaded here:-