The Blessing of the Animals

 

Our pets play a huge role in our lives. They love us unconditionally and it's (usually) easy to love them right back. They can be reminders for us of God's unconditional love for each of us as well. We like the opportunity of thanking God for them as we gather to offer God's blessing -- and ours -- upon them. 

October 4 is the traditional day for the blessing of animals because it's the day we remember St. Francis of Assissi. This saint was born the son of a prosperous merchant in Assissi, Italy in 1182. Moved by various encounters with beggars and lepers -- and much to his father's dismay -- he decided to live a life of poverty too so that he might truly enter into the life of the poor. 

Francis is known for his appreciation of all creatures of God's creation. Hence he can be picked out of any number of saints' statues by the presence of birds, squirrels, etc. 

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