St. Columba’s Church in Dublin, Ireland celebrated the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi by hosting an animal blessing. More than 80 animals attended the mass, including a wide range of dogs, cats and even turtles!
St. Francis of Assisi was the patron saint of animals and the environment, and considered animals equal to all other life–highly precious and deserving of respect. To celebrate St. Francis’ message, churches around the world host pet blessings, but this one has gotten particular attention for the incredible turnout.
Not only did the church host a mass where animals were allowed they also offered personalized blessings to each animal in attendance. Some pet owners asked for prayers for their pets’ health, while others merely wanted to honor the important animals in their lives.
No, we don’t think any of the animals had sins to atone for, but if they did, you can bet they’re fully forgiven!
Pets were permitted to sit with their human parents on the pews, and even joined in with barks, howls, and whatever sound turtles make. Beyond the celebratory and religious purposes of this event, these types of pet blessings are also a wonderful community-building experience and a lot of fun for everyone involved.
Would you attend a pet blessing, and if so, what sins would your pets need to atone for? Perhaps they’re a glutton and like to eat your best shoes, or maybe they covet your neighbor’s lawn!