As October arrives, people in various parts of the world may notice something odd. A procession of animals, everything from dogs and cats to hamsters and even horses, is led to churches for a special ceremony called the Blessing of Pets. This custom is conducted in remembrance of Saint Francis of Assisi’s love for all creatures. Blessed Francis, whose feast day is today, is also the patron saint of the city I live in. At my parish church, in just a few hours, we will be blessing animals (actually two Franciscan brothers will be).
My sister's dog Arizona, ran off a couple of months ago and was never found. My mom sent me a picture of her and this morning we will pray for her too as well as for animals that we know have died.
PAWS (Pets Are WOnderful Support) is an organization that helps the pets of people living with AIDS and HIV. The organization is quite right that pets can indeed be great support for the lonely, the elderly, children, just about anyone.
And so on this day, whereever you are, I ask your prayers for all of God's creatures, especially those whom we share our homes with.