St. Francis Festival and Blessing of the Animals

Posted by webteam on March 13th, 2014

On Sunday, Oct. 2, churches all over the world will commemorate something which St. Francis of Assisi began virtually 800 years back: blessing our animals. Francis ended up being the one who initially launched the concept that people are just one of a variety of creations of Jesus and all are blessed in God's "eyes." The feast time of St. Francis (the day he passed away) is celebrated each year on October 4, and blessing of the animal services are generally planned for the Sunday nearest to that day.

The very first blessing involving the animals took place like this: One cozy afternoon at the beginning of his ministry (at some point between 1210-15), Francis wandered beyond Assisi, filled with self-doubt, asking Jesus if maybe everything he previously did until that point was in fact for the wrong reasons. Francis wondered if he ought to have merely gotten married and raised a household as his father wanted him to accomplish. While he had been praying alone to Jesus, Francis caught a glimpse of some birds. He paused and started addressing all of them as though they were his equals. Shortly after, he started to "preach" to all of them about God's glories and all kinds of reasons why both people and birds ought to be thankful. That point represents the start of the environmental movement, the start of the age when we being to comprehend ourselves as naturally linked to all of creation.

He showed an awareness of the living and organic things surrounding him that sets him aside from his contemporaries and also the saints who emerged before him. He also looked after the inanimate things of creation with a sensibility that's comparable to Buddhist teachings about goodness towards all conscious beings. This link between St. Francis and creatures is the solitary truth about him that many people are aware of. He pointed out that creation involves much more than humankind. He constantly addressed animals as his brothers and sisters and he strived to broaden the fraternity between people and creatures in identical relationship with Jesus.

A procession of animals, anything from dogs and cats to bunnies and hamsters, is brought to churches for a unique service known as the Blessing of Pets. This tradition is carried out in recollection of St. Francis of Assisi’s love for all beings. At Franciscan churches, a friar appears usually welcoming each animal with a unique prayer. While the prayer is given, the pet is mildly sprinkled with holy water. The message to the persons who have pet companions remains the same: take proper care of them, just as you would take care of yourself. Express gratitude; they are gifts from God.

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