francisicon

In early autumn, there is the Blessing of the Animals, a custom conducted in Catholic churches in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi’s love for all creatures. Francis’s feast day is October 4.

He wrote a Canticle of the Creatures, an ode to God’s living things. “All praise to you, Oh Lord, for all these brother and sister creatures.”

At Franciscan churches, a friar with brown robe and white cord often welcomes family pets with a special prayer.

The Blessing of Pets usually goes like this:
“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.”

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