Sunday, October 3, 2010

All Creatures Great and Small, Blessings to You All

If you find yourself in church with a different breed of parishioners this week, do not worry, your church has not been converted into a zoo. It is probably the annual Blessing of the Animals in honor of St. Francis of Assisi. His feast day is October 4.


The Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York , New York


St. John the Divine, NY, NY


St. Marks Episcopal Church, Charleston, South Carolina


St. John the Divine, NY, NY

This is a video of St. Francis Feast Day at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Lee's Summit, Missouri.

St. Francis was born in the little town of Assisi, Italy in 1182. Though his father had a successful business Francis was not interested in following in his father's footprints. Like some kids today he went his own way, sowing a few wild oats. But in 1201 he joined in a military campaign and was taken prisoner for a year. Afterwards he spent much time in contemplation and asking God for enlightment. Little by little Francis immersed himself in devotion to religious causes from taking care of the sick to helping save and restore churches; one was the chapel of St. Mary of the Angels in Assisi, which became his favorite.

Francis would go on to become a Catholic dean and preacher and the founder of the Franciscan Order of Monks. He is known as the patron saint of animals, the environment and a patron saint of Italy.

The Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where 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.

Angelina, a versatile singer of many genre's, sings the prayer of St. Francis.

photo credits:
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  1. I have been to a similar service in Sydney. It was crazy, smelly and very noisy but it was truly amazing. I will never forget it!

    I must go and give my little budgie Chester a blessing after reading this.

    Hope you have a great weekend and best wishes for a lovely week.

  2. I never would have imagined such a thing! I'm sure St. Francis would love it. His prayer is a blessing to me.

  3. All creatures great and small
    ... I love this!!!
    Wouldn't it be thrilling to witness that ceremony in person?

  4. My church had St Frances' statue out with I don't think the later Masses were blessing the animals. Loved your post.

  5. what a great concept. Now that's church!!!!

  6. Interesting. I've never seen this in church. Love the prayer of St. Francis. Thank you for sharing this informative post.

  7. I have always loved St Francis and now I know his history...thank you.

  8. Hello Mya! Finally I can write you a message! It 's wonderful that your post! Yes, yesterday was St. Francis and also here in Italy is celebrated ... (The blessing of the animals but in my town was made in January, I do not know why!).
    I embrace you and wish you a happy day !!!!!

  9. great post. we also have the blessing of the animals. fantastic photos. thanks for your comment on my post re reaching out to people. rose

  10. All things bright and beautiful,
    All creatures great and small,
    All things wise and wonderful,
    the Lord God made them all. (CF Alexander)
    I looove this poem and your post as well.
    Thank you for all the information.

  11. back again. i have had cats, but go for the dogs. they are like children, love and fight each other. rose

  12. Very Interesting and I enjoyed looking at the photos. :-)