Blessing of Animals
St. Helena Church in the Bronx held both the Blessing of Stuffed Animals as well as the Blessing of Pets on Friday, October 4, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. There will also be a Blessing of Stuffed Animals in the church during the 10:30AM and NOON Masses on Sunday, Oct. 6 as well as the Blessing of Pets from 2:30-4:30PM in the St. Helena Parking Lot. This custom is conducted in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi's love for all God's creatures. Francis loved the larks flying above his hilltop town. Once, while Francis and his early brothers were staying in a small hovel, they allowed themselves to be displaced by a donkey. St. Francis believed that nature itself was a mirror of God. He called all creatures his "brothers" and "sisters" and even preached to the birds. He once persuaded a wolf to stop attacking the town's sheep if they agreed to feed him. Francis wrote a Canticle of the Creatures, an ode to all God's living things, and he was very fond of St. Clare of Assisi's little cat, which was mentioned during her canonization.
Blessing of Stuffed Animals
Blessing of Stuffed Animals at St. Helena's Church in Parkchester, The Bronx.