August 23, 2009
Blessing of the Pets at St. Lucy's
St. Francis of Assisi's love for all creatures was recalled today at St. Lucy's Catholic Church, with a Mass at least partially devoted to pets.
Parishioners brought their cats and dogs to morning Mass, where they sat, mostly obediently, through the sermon and the singing, and then received a personal blessing -- and the sprinkling of holy water on each of them -- from the Rev. Mark Jones.
As is usual for the Blessing of the Pets, the Mass was held out of doors, today in glorious sunshine.
Francis was the patron saint of animals. Research tells us, "he loved the larks flying about his hilltop town. He and his early brothers, staying in a small hovel, allowed themselves to be displaced by a donkey. Francis wrote a Canticle of the Creatures, an ode to God's living things: "All praise to you, Oh Lord, for all these brother and sister creatrues."
Dozens of pets attended St. Lucy's 9 a.m. Mass Sunday. There were dogs of all breeds and sizes on leashes and in their owners' arms, and some shy cats mostly in carryng cases. Some children brought their favorite stuffed animals, which Rev. Jones also blessed as he passed throughout the congregation, which was sitting on chairs under the trees.