Who’s this guy we remember on the day we bless pets? And why do we do that in October? Answer: St. Francis of Assisi lived in northern Italy in the 13th century. He was born into a very wealthy family, but as a young man he renounced all material things, devoting himself to living a life of poverty and following the teachings of Jesus. Not only did he care for the poor and sick, he thought of all created things (sun, moon, stars, hills, flowers … even the animals) as brothers and sisters in God’s family. He died on October 4, 1226, so we honor him on or near that day each year by giving thanks for our pets and asking God to bless them in the coming year.
On Thursday, October 3rd, with the temperature around 93° and two cameramen from local news stations hovering around for a good look, Mthr. Benko and I had the honor of blessing the pets for this year. Mthr. Benko claims her hermit crabs should certainly win some kind of prize, but she somehow avoided the dog that “took the cake.” Or should I say “left his mark” on me. Yes, in 17 years of blessing pets at All Saints’, I’ve never had a dog “mark his territory” on me. He not only claimed my chair, but included my left foot as well. You’ve never seen me move out of a chair so fast! I guess he really liked me.
Besides the most adorable Persian cat who snuggled on my lap and the many dogs who gave me kisses, here are some other winners from where I sat:
Most Interesting Pet: Fred, the Bearded Dragon (that’s a reptile)
Most Unusual Name: Gravity (a kitten)
Most Blessed Pets: Three little kittens in a basket that managed to get a double blessing, one from each priest (and yes, Gravity was one of them)