“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.