Churches around Brooklyn marked the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi last weekend with the annual “Blessing of the Animals” ceremonies.
St. Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of animals and the environment
Father Anthony Alimnonu blessed the animals at St. Anselm Church, 356 82nd St.
“The blessing of animals reminds us of our connectedness with these animals and indeed the entire creation,” Alimnonu said. “Humans are called to be co-creators with God. The animals we keep in our homes are constant reminders of the immensity of God’s creation. The love and service they render to us are reminders of the love we owe to God and others, including the animals themselves.”
St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church, 9511 Fourth Ave., held its blessings on the rectory’s front lawn, with pets ranging from dogs and cats to birds.
Father Michael Falce and Father Gerard Sauer sprinkled holy water onto the animals. Each pet owner received a St. Francis medal as a memento.
“This is a very popular and important tradition in the church for people to bring their animals to the house of God to get blessed for health and bring happiness for their families in the year ahead,” said John Quaglione, deputy press secretary for the Diocese of Brooklyn. “It’s nice to see people returning to such an important tradition.”
Blessings were also held at Christ Church Bay Ridge, 7301 Ridge Blvd., Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 7420 Fourth Ave., St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, 1072 80th St., and many others.