Blessing of the Animals is today |

Blessing of the Animals is today

by Gail Davenport

At 9 a.m. today, people passing by St. Gall Catholic Church at 1343 Centerville Lane, Gardnerville, may notice something odd.

A procession of animals, everything from dogs and cats to hamsters and even horses and cows, will be led to the church for a special ceremony called the “Blessing of Animals.”

This custom will be conducted in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi’s love for all creatures in honor of his Oct. 4 feast day.

For many years, locals of all faiths have been accompanying their pets to the annual “Blessing of Animals” at St. Gall, and they enjoy the opportunity to take their animal companions to church for the special blessing. Church is the place where the bond of creation is celebrated, reminding us we are all creatures of God’s love.

As the prayer of blessing is offered, the pet is gently sprinkled with holy water, and most pets receive this sacramental spritz with dignity. In the eyes of our creator, every creature is important. The love we give to a pet and receive from a pet can draw us more deeply into the larger circle of life, into the wonder of our common relationship with our Creator.