Check out the Blessing of the Animals on the Feast Day of Saint Francis. Father Jerry Graham, S.J. blessed lots of dogs, a bunny, a cat, two kittens and two canaries. Missed the blessing? You can bless your pets at home. Scroll down to learn how.
The Feast of St. Francis of Assisi commemorates the life of the patron saint of animals and the environment. It is fitting that the month-long Season of Creation that started on September 1 ends on October 4, the Feast of St. Francis. In remembrance of his love for all creatures, you and your pet are invited to a blessing of the animals on his feast day, October 4th at 3:45 P.M. in the Courtyard of Saint Patrick Catholic Church. Father Jerry Graham, S.J. will lead us in prayer as we bless the animals that mean so much to us.
More About St. Francis
St. Francis was born in the 12th century, lived in Italy and founded the men’s Order of Friars Minor, the women’s Order of St. Clare, and the Third Order of Saint Francis for men and women not able to live the lives of itinerant preachers. Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history.
He is remembered for his generosity to the poor, his willingness to minister to the lepers and for his love of animals.
Blessing of Pets and Animals
Many people bring their pets to the church to be blessed on St. Francis’ feast day because of his love for animals as expressed in his Canticle of Creatures. Pope Francis published his second encyclical Laudato si‘ on June 18, 2015. The Canticle inspired the encyclical’s title, “Praise be to you,” and was quoted in the first paragraph, “Praise be to you, Our Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruits, with colored flowers and herbs.”
If you can’t make the Blessing of the Animals after school, you can pray for and bless your pets and animals at home too. A verbal blessing and a sprinkling holy water can be offered in your backyard or garden. Bring a small bottle to Mass with you and fill it with Holy Water from the Baptismal font and bless your pets on October 4.
The following Pet Blessing can be used:
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.
Consider donating pet food or gently used blankets and towels to the local animal shelter around this time of the year. The Feast of St. Francis of Assisi provides an opportunity to teach children about endangered or abused animals and what we can do to help.
Share Your Story
Send us a photo of your pet and tell us why your pet is amazing. We will compile the photos in an album and share with our parish faith community.