La Virgen de Guadalupe Catholic Church, 401 Canyon Crest Blvd., is to celebrate the Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi on Oct. 4 with the blessing of the animals in the church parking lot at 10:30 a.m.
All animals are welcome, but must be on a leash or otherwise secured for their safety.
Catholic tradition holds that St. Francis of Assisi (1181 or 1182-1226) began life as the son of a wealthy merchant in the Perugia region of Italy. In 1206 he renounced his family wealth and started a new life of ministering to the poor. Following the Gospel's teachings, he lived in poverty and preached simplicity and humility.
St. Francis is credited with believing that all the creatures of the earth were his brethren. He is said to have preached to anyone who would listen, including the birds. It is for this reason that statues of St. Francis often depict him in the company of birds. St. Francis believed that God's creation, and especially God's creatures, can reveal something of the nature of God and his love for mankind.