Please join us on the afternoon of Sunday, September 15th for a special Blessing of the Animals –feel free to bring your pet!
Blessing of the Animals is an annual event held by many denominations and religions that originated over 800 years ago with St. Francis of Assisi. It is typically held on October 4th or a Sunday close to it. October 4th, The Feast Day of St. Francis, marks the death of St. Francis.
In an article in the Huffington Post by Jon M. Sweeney published on October 2, 2011 titled, Blessing Our Pets: In the Spirit of St. Francis and Judaism the author explains that St. Francis “…exhibited a sensitivity to the living and organic things around him that sets him apart from other people of his day and the saints who came before him. He even cared for the inanimate objects of creation with a sensitivity that is similar to Buddhist teachings about kindness toward all sentient beings. One of the most beautiful paragraphs of “The Golden Legend” by Jacobus of Voragine (a late medieval text about the lives of the saints) explains:
The saint would not handle lanterns and candles because he did not want to dim their brightness with his hands. He walked reverently on stones out of respect for him who was called Peter, which means stone. He lifted worms from the road for fear they might be trampled underfoot by passersby. Bees might perish in the cold of winter, so he had honey and fine wines set out for them. He called all animals brothers and sisters. When he looked at the sun, the moon, and the stars, he was filled with inexpressible joy by his love of the Creator and invited them all to love their Creator.
- Jon M. Sweeney is the author of “The St. Francis Prayer Book” and “Light in the Dark Ages: The Friendship of Francis and Clare of Assisi.”