Blessing the animals
“All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.”
Despite the chill of an October evening, residents and their pets arrived at the St Paul’s Church hall last Wednesday to have their animals blessed on St Francis of Assisi Feast Day.
An informal affair, no one was dressed up in their Sunday best, but had rather brought along their pets to be blessed.
St Francis died on October 3 1226, and his feast day is celebrated the following day.
Arch Deacon of St Paul’s, Cynthia Webbstock, assisted by Ann Tyrrell, performed the blessings of the animals as is tradition in the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches around the world.
St Francis, who was originally named Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone, was by no mean, “just a bird watcher”, but was rather an outspoken man of his times who, despite being born into a fairly well-to-do family of silk merchants, gave up all material wealth to live a simple life. As one of the most venerated figures in medieval religious times, he was an outspoken defender of the poor and the sick, and many of his sayings are seen and used as truisms, even by those outside of the Christian family.
Each animal at the ceremony received a certificate of the blessing they received and the owners gave to the collection, which money went directly to the SPCA.
THANKS AUNTY ANN: Dudley, held by his owner Neil Playdon, received his blessing from Ann Tyrrell at the St Francis Feast Day, held at St Paul’s Church last Wednesday evening