"We invoke the divine blessing on these animals…"

“The animals of God’s creation inhabit the skies, the earth, and the sea.  They share in the fortunes of human existence and have a part in human life.  god, who confers his gifts on all living things, has often used the service of animals or made them symbolic reminders of the gifts of salvation.  Animals were saved from the flood and afterwards made a part of the covenant with Noah.  The paschal lamb brings to mind the passover sacrifice and the deliverance from the bondage of Egypt; a giant fish saved Jonah; ravens brought bread to Elijah; animals were included in the repentance enjoined on humans.  And animals share in Christ’s redemption of all of God’s creation.  We therefore invoke the divine blessing on these animals, through the intercession of Saint Francis.  As we do so, let us praise the Creator and thank him for setting us over other creatures of the earth.  Let us also ask him that, remembering our human dignity, we may walk always in his law.”

– From the Blessing of Animals, Book of Blessings

Blessings are often conferred today, the feast of St. Francis.

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  1. I will be doing the blessing, along with the other deacon from my parish. He takes the dogs, and I take the cats and other species. Dogs don’t like me.

  2. Our pastor said, after reading Archbishop Dolan’s letter to the president during Mass, that some people place too much emphasis on animals and the environment.

  3. My New Jersey parish celebrated the blessing of the animals on Sunday. I share blessing duty with my good friend Deacon Al. Our parish parking lot was a menagerie. Families brought all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, hamsters, cats – and of course my favorite – dogs!

    My wife brought our Golden Retriever Shelby for her blessing. She was so excited…as soon as she saw me she tried to leap into my arms…

    This is a wonderful way to evangelize…the children never forget the day they brought their pet to the Church for a blessing…

  4. Will:

    Very true, but abusus non tollit usum. It’s all a matter of balance and moderation.

  5. My husband blessed our cats yesterday.
    We used to have a cat who liked to sit on his lap whenever he sat down to pray from his breviary. If it was time for evening prayer, and he didn’t pick up his prayer book right away, she would nudge it as if to remind him. He called it “vespurrs”.

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