Hello Loving Light! I also like St. Francis and the peace prayer, however I wanted to point out that it is highly unlikely that it was him who wrote the poem. In recent decades it has become evident that the prayer originated during the early years of the 1900’s, but until recently no one has pointed out the exact year.
The first appearance of the Peace Prayer,” according to Dr. Renoux, “occurred in France in 1912 in a small spiritual magazine called La Clochette (the little bell). It was published in Paris by a Catholic association known as La Ligue de la Sainte-Messe, “The Holy Mass League,” founded in 1901 by a French priest, Father Esther Bouquerel (1855-1923). The prayer bore the title of Belle priere a faire pendant la messe; “A Beautiful Prayer to Say During the Mass” and was published anonymously. The author could have possibly been Father Bouquerel himself, but until now the identity of the author remains a mystery.
The prayer was sent in French to Pope Benedict XV in 1915. This was soon followed by its 1916 appearance, in Italian, in the Osservatore Romano. Around 1920, the prayer was printed by a French Franciscan priest on the back of an image of Francis with the title Priere pour la paix, “Prayer for Peace,” but without being attributed to the saint. Between the two World Wars, the prayer circulated in Europe and was translated into English.