St. Mark’s to raise funds for Humane Society with annual Blessing of the Animals

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379656 02: Rev. Eugene Sutton, left, blesses a cat with Holy water October 4, 2000 outside the National Cathedral in Washington during the annual Feast of St. Francis Blessing of the Animals service celebrating the birthday of St. Francis of Assisi, a Catholic patron saint who talked to animals. (Photo by Alex Wong/Newsmakers)

SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – St. Mark’s Cathedral School will hold their annual Blessing of the Animals in Shreveport Monday and raise funds for the Humane Society of Northwest Louisiana.

The October 4 event honors the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. 

Pets that are leashed or crated, and stuffed animals for the younger students, are welcome to be brought and blessed. The clergy will perform the blessing at 2:30 p.m. in the large field at the St. Mark’s Cathedral School. 

Students are welcome to donate $1 to wear an animal-themed t-shirt instead of their school uniform. Funds raised will go to benefit the Humane Society of Northwest Louisiana.

St. Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of animals and ecology. He is most famous for founding the Franciscan order of monks. There are many stories of him helping wildlife. He is said to have preached sermons to birds, saved a rabbit from a snare, and calmed a wolf that had been terrorizing the town of Gubbio.  

His Prayer for the Blessing of Pets says:

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 Saint 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! Amen.

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