This Sunday, October 4, is Saint Francis of Assisi Feast Day (it happens to fall on Sunday this year). Because he was known as the patron saint of animals, many churches hold a Blessing of the Animals.
In addition, a group began celebrating World Animal Day on October 4 back in 1931; all lifeforms are celebrated and honored.
Luis and I are going to take Lupe to Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church at 15th and P NW at 10 a.m. and have her blessed. Everyone is welcome, whether or not you are a member of the church. (Friends told me that The Washington National Cathedral has a Bless of the Animals this Sunday at 2:30 p.m.) For other locations, check church websites or call them.
I was well into adulthood before I knew much about the Blessing of the Animals and Saint Francis of Assisi. I was raised in an overwhelmingly Protestant part of rural Illinois. The traditions around saints are not central to the Methodist Church we sometimes attended.
But, the Blessing of the Animals is one of the traditions I have grown to like very much. So, do it for your dog or cat or other pet. A small donation to the church is appreciated and appropriate.
Thank you, Saint Francis.