Saturday, October 6th was cool and damp, with some occasional light rain as St. Anselm Parish celebrated the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, which actually took place on Thursday – October 4th, with its annual Blessing of the Animals. Our furry four-footed friends – cats and dogs – and one totally un-furry turtle came with their human companions to receive a blessing from Fr. Cintron that was particularly special as Father blessed one and all with his own personal relic of St. Francis.
The “congregation” listened (mostly) attentively as Fr. Fred gave the blessing, read the prayer:
“O, God the author and giver of every gift, animals also are part of the way you provide help for our needs and labors. We pray through the intercession of St. Francis that you will make available for our use the things we need to maintain a decent human life. We ask this through Christ Our Lord, Amen.”
And, sprinkled all with holy water. He then invited the humans and their pals (Pickles, Raskal, Little Turtle, Bruno, Mia, Jacob, Mikey, Holly – and others – pets, not people) to come forward one at a time for an individual blessing with the relic of St. Francis.
The attribution of St. Francis as Patron of Animals derives from the saint’s own life story (his preaching to the birds, when townspeople would not listen to him and his “negotiation” with the wolf of the town of Gubbio).
Thank you, Fr. Fred for conducting the blessing service and Msgr. Maloney for encouraging this annual St. Anselm event.
All the Best
The St. Anselm Publicity Committee