Have you passed by a church recently? See anything odd? Well, don’t be alarmed if you see a procession of dogs, cats, rabbits, and even horses outside your local church. October 4th marks a very special ceremony called the Blessing of Pets in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. Yesterday, churches nationwide took part in the Blessing of Pets and many are continuing the ceremony today as well.
St. Francis of Assisi was born in 1182 in Assisi, Umbria, Italy, and he had a profound love for animals and the environment. He knew even back then the important role pets play in our lives. Church is all about celebrating the bonds between God’s creations, and what better way to do this than with your pet.
The blessing is:
Blessed are you, Lord God, maker of all living creatures. You called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air and animals on the land. You inspired St. Francis to call all of them his brothers and sisters. We ask you to bless this pet. By the power of your love, enable it to live according to your plan. May we always praise you for all your beauty in creation. Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures! Amen.
Check out local ceremonies in your city. I may actually go to church today!