Early in October, many Christian churches participate in a ritual known as the Blessing of the Animals. Held on or about the Feast Day of St. Francis, this ritual brings people and their pets “flocking.” The annual Blessing of the Animals offers individuals with pets an opportunity to reflect upon the positive impact animals have on our emotional and physical well-being. How did this practice come about, and what does it mean to the participants?

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 believed 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 companionship with birds. St. Francis believed that God’s creation, and especially God’s creatures, can reveal to us something of the nature of God and His love for us.

Join us on Monday, October 6th for our annual Blessing of the Animals in honor of St. Francis Feast Day. We will have registration and free pictures of you and your pet by the St. Francis statue in the front parking lot starting at 9:45 a.m. The blessing will begin at 10:30 in the rear parking lot.

Bring your pet, caged or on a leash to:

La Virgen de Guadalupe Catholic Church, 401 Canyon Crest Blvd., Mesquite, NV on Monday, October 6.