Come to have your furry, feathered, scaly, or stuffed friend blessed on October 7, 2017, at 12:00 noon. We celebrate the Feast of St. Francis with a blessing of all God’s creatures. All animals, including the plush variety, are welcome.
Please be sure that your pet is appropriately handled. For example:
- Dogs on leash
- Cats in carriers
- Pandas in mobile stands of bamboo
These pictures are from a previous animal blessing at Redeemer.
St. Francis of Assisi
Francis of Assisi was a thirteenth-century saint and founder of the Franciscan order. He was born in Assisi in central Italy and named Giovanni Bernardone. His father changed his name to Francesco, “the Frenchman,” after a visit to France.
His gradual conversion began in the spring of 1205. Francis gave generously to the poor and became devoted to “Lady Poverty.” He stressed absolute simplicity of life marked by poverty, humility, and contemplation of Christ.
Others gathered around him, and on February 24, 1209, the Order of Friars Minor (Fratres minores), sometimes called Minorites, was founded. In England they were popularly called Grey Friars because of the color of their habit.
The Second Order of St. Francis, known as the Poor Clares, was established for nuns in 1219. The Third Order for lay men and women was founded in 1221.
Francis is especially remembered for his writing, “The Canticle of Brother Sun.” The Hymnal 1982 of the Episcopal Church includes two versions of this text. One is a paraphrase, “All creatures of our God and King” (Number 400). The other is a more literal version, “Most High, omnipotent, good Lord” (Number 406-407).
The hymn text “Lord make us servants of your peace” (Number 593) is based on a prayer attributed to Francis.
He died in Assisi. Francis is commemorated in the Episcopal calendar of the church year on October 4.
(Information taken from the Glossary on the Episcopal Church website and Wikipedia.)