A Blessing for the Animals on the Feast of St. Francis!
Today, St. Agnes hosted a Blessing for the Animals on the parish grounds to celebrate the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, a well-known lover of nature and animals. Of animals, the saint said, “Not to hurt our humble brethren is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission -- to be of service to them wherever they require it.”
Over 50 pets and owners arrived for the blessing, joyfully receiving it as offered by Fr. Rich Miserendino, Parochial Vicar.
For the NON-four legged participants, today’s feast and celebration centers on the great saint’s larger contributions to the Church, as he is largely credited with its rebuilding in the early 13th Century. Pope Innocent III permitted the Friars Minor to be established under the Church’s structure and demonstrate its viability. Though the pope initially relented, he recalled a dream in which he saw a man holding up the Basilica of St. John Lateran (the cathedral of Rome, thus the 'home church' of all Christendom), to keep it from toppling over. This, he concluded, was St. Francis. Since then, many the world over have continued to pledge to the Franciscan Rule.
Take a moment to pray Saint Francis’ Canticle of the Creatures today:
“Praised be you, my Lord, with all your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun,
who is the day and through whom you give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor;
and bears a likeness of you, Most High.
Praised be you, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
in heaven you formed them clear and precious and beautiful.
Praised be you, my Lord, through Brother Wind,
and through the air, cloudy and serene, and every kind of weather
through whom you give sustenance to your creatures.
Praised be you, my Lord, through Sister Water,
who is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.
Praised be you, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom you light the night,
and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong and serve Him with great humility,” St. Francis of Assisi.