|St. Francis of Assisi|
Detail of painting by Enrique López-Tamayo Biosca
Wikimedia Commons image
People are welcome to bring pets to be blessed, and children can even bring a favourite stuffed animal.
October 4 is the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi (1181 – October 3, 1226), founder of the Franciscan Order, patron saint of animals and nature, a fan of troubadours, a friend to lepers. He preached to the birds and called nature the mirror of God. The Blessing for the Animals is observed on the Sunday closest to October 4. Various faiths have adopted the practice, and October 4 was later also chosen as World Animal Day by ecologists.
Sermon to the BirdsRelated link:
My little sisters, the birds, much bounden are ye unto God, your Creator, and always in every place ought ye to praise Him, for that He hath given you liberty to fly about everywhere, and hath also given you double and triple rainment; moreover He preserved your seed in the ark of Noah, that your race might not perish out of the world; still more are ye beholden to Him for the element of the air which He hath appointed for you; beyond all this, ye sow not, neither do you reap; and God feedeth you, and giveth you the streams and fountains for your drink; the mountains and valleys for your refuge and the high trees whereon to make your nests; and because ye know not how to spin or sow, God clotheth you, you and your children; wherefore your Creator loveth you much, seeing that He hath bestowed on you so many benefits; and therefore, my little sisters, beware of the sin of ingratitude, and study always to give praises unto God.
-Saint Francis of Assisi - c1220
Pincher Creek United Church Pastoral Charge
Sermon to the Birds
The Life and Legends of Saint Francis of Assisi, by Father Candide Chalippe
Wikipedia: World Animal Day
Wikipedia: St. Francis of Assisi