Tag Archives: Saint Francis

In Honor of Saint Francis: Blessing of the Animals

Power of Now 2016 wall calendar

Image from The Power of Now 2016 wall calendar featuring quotes by Eckhart Tolle. Male rufous hummingbird © Tim Fitzharris/Minden Pictures. Click image for more info.

The Sunday closest to the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi, usually the first Sunday in October, is often observed with a Blessing of the Animals ceremony in Catholic and Anglican churches around the world. This year the ceremony coincides with the day Saint Francis is honored, October 4.

Francis is famous for many things: for founding the order of Franciscans; for his peace-making efforts, particularly with the Muslim world; and for creating the first Christmas crèche, with live animals posed around a manger filled with straw.

Folk legends about him often revolve around his tender treatment of animals. On one occasion, he preached to the birds, telling them they should be thankful for their clothes, their freedom, and that God cared for them – and the birds stood still to listen to him. Continue reading