October 7, 2023 – Blessing of the Animals for the Feast of St. Francis

Rain, rain, go away! – Well, while the rain didn’t go away, it lightened up into a soft mist for the annual Blessing of the Animals for the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. Wednesday, October 4th was the actual Feast of St. Francis, and so, during the week, there was hardly a Catholic Church to be found throughout Brooklyn that didn’t welcome our four legged, furry friends, and their human companions to church for a Blessing. At some churches that happy and solemn event took place on the weekend before the feast, at others it occurred on the actual Feast Day of St. Francis, and here at St. Anselm’s the occasion was celebrated following the 11 AM Mass on Saturday, October 7th.

And so, the pets and their people came to receive a blessing, reminding us of how important animals are in our lives. As Father John sprinkled the assembled pets, both dogs and cats, and their people with holy water, he said the words of blessing, speaking of the service and emotional support animals offer. Fr. John then walked around the group, greeting the people, asking the pets names, and giving individual blessings.

And, perhaps as the blessing was being offered, the people in attendance were reminded of the stories traditionally told about St. Francis – of the “deal” he made with the wolf of Gubbio to not attack the livestock or the people, or of the saint preaching to the birds – and so becoming the Patron Saint of Animals.

Thank you Fr. John for the beautiful service, a much beloved St. Anselm tradition, reminding us that we are all connected in God’s creation.

“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 Saint 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.”

All the best,
The Saint Anselm Publicity Committee

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