Sunday, October 3, 2010

Blessings of the Pet

Many pet owners worldwide welcome October 4 with open arms for it is the feast day for St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and many churches worldwide will be holding  “The Blessing of the Pets”  ceremonies. Regardless of individual religious convictions, St. Francis’ message is a unique one that all loving pet owners share, that it is the “…duty of men to protect and enjoy nature....” for which all animals are part of.

One of the more famous tales is the “Wolf of Gubbio” story where in this small town, St. Francis was told about the existence of a vicious wolf that lived in Gubbio’s countryside. All efforts on the part of the townsfolk failed to capture or chase the wolf away. It is told that St. Francis went out to seek the wolf, carrying no weapon or threatening attitude. He found the wolf and spoke to him to repent for all the harm he had done.The wolf then lay at St. Francis’ feet. He then led the wolf back into town to the startled people and an agreement was reached between the wolf and the people of Gubbio to live together in peace with the townsfolk feeding and caring for the wolf for as long as the wolf lived. Today, we can still apply St. Francis' approach as it can be related to having a calm and positive approach, "good energy," rather than an angry, negative one. Then the respect we show our pets, will be the respect and love we receive back tenfold.

While we all let our pets know we love them every day, whatever we choose to do on October 4, let’s take a special moment to tell them just how much we love them and how special they are to us, for the bond between human and pet is indeed a very special one. And let's not forget to give thanks for having these wonderful, loving, and forgiving animals placed into our lives and daily care, for they certainly are a blessing to have as part of our families.

“I believe every creature is important. The love we give to a pet, and receive from a pet, can draw us more deeply into the larger circle of life, into the wonder of our common relationship to our Creator.” -- Kevin E. Mackin, O.F.M., a Franciscan of the Holy Name Province.


  1. Mom was wishing that one of our local churches had held a special service to honor St. Francis. But we will make sure she gives us lots of extra loving today.

    Nice post.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  2. I love Blessing of the Pets day. They used to do that at my kids' school until one day there was a tussle between a couple pups.