A Delightful Blessing of the Animals
Even the skies brightened a bit when the animals showed up.
When we think of St. Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscan order, many of us think of icons or illustrations or statues of him surrounded by animals or birds. It is written that he loved all God’s creation and even preached to the birds. With his feast day on October 4th, the first weekend of October is often the time when Blessings of the Pets or Farm Animals is held. That was certainly the case here at Our Lady of Hope as we gathered on the lawn next to St. Joseph’s Church on Saturday afternoon. Frs. Jack, Brian and Paul all reminded us through prayer of the connection of our care for our pets, who depend on us, to our care and concern for our vulnerable neighbors, which was especially part of St. Francis’ message 800 years ago.
With that in mind, we share the Peace Prayer of St. Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
were there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
were there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Let each of us emulate St. Francis of Assisi in demonstrating our love and care for all God’s creation.