Local churches are preparing to celebrate the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment, by blessing the pets in their community.
According to the American Catholic website, Francis, whose feast day is October 4, loved the larks flying over the hilltop in his town. He and his early followers allowed themselves to be displaced by a donkey at the small hotel where they were staying.
Francis wrote a Canticle of the Creatures, an ode to God’s living things: “All praise to you, Oh Lord, for all these brother and sister creatures.”
This weekend, local churches are planning to bless pets in keeping with St. Francis’s recognition of people’s love and bond with God’s creatures.
Churches all around the area, will welcome animals with this special Blessing of the Pets:
“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 St. 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.”
Pet Blessing Ceremonies:
- Pawsitively Heaven Pet Resort, 10051 Kitty Avenue, Chicago Ridge, 1:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 4.
- St. Linus Church, 10300 S. Lawler Ave., Oak Lawn, 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6.
- St. Fabian’s Church, 83rd Street and Oketo, Bridgeview, noon, Saturday, Oct. 6. The blessing will take place on the front lawn of the church.
- St. Catherine of Alexandria, 10621 S. Kedvale, Oak Lawn, 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 6.
- St. Bernadette’s Church, 9343 S. Francisco Ave., Evergreen Park, following the 8:30 a.m. Mass, Saturday, Oct. 6.
- Mt. Zion Lutheran Church, 10400 S. Kostner, Oak Lawn, 10:30 a.m., Sunday, Oct. 7. Pets are allowed in church for the entire service.
Share photos of your special pet on Patch. Tell us why your pet is a blessing in your life.