Dogs, cats and rats, plus turtles, fish and more received blessings during a multitude of ceremonies held in honor of the Oct. 4 feast of St. Francis of Assisi, patron of animals.
Karen Durand, principal of St. John School in North Charleston, organized a blessing of the animals in the forest at Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site.
In addition to St. John, students came from Blessed Sacrament, Charleston Catholic and Summerville Catholic schools. Over 200 students were present as Msgr. Thomas Hofmann, pastor of Divine Redeemer Church, Deacon Andre Guillet, and Christian Brother Damian Ryan, president of St. John School, blessed children and animals.
Later, a blessing was held for all the creatures in the historic site’s animal forest.
Here is the blessing according to franciscanmedia.org:
Blessed are you, Lord God, maker of all living creatures.
You called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air and animals on the land.
You inspired St. Francis to call all of them his brothers and sisters.
We ask you to bless this pet.
By the power of your love, enable it to live according to your plan.
May we always praise you for all your beauty in creation.
Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures!
Top photo provided: St. Gregory the Great Church and School held its annual pet blessing to celebrate the feast of St. Francis on Oct. 4.