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On Saturday, October 3rd, Messiah Lutheran Church conducted a Blessing of the Animals Service. At Messiah Lutheran Church, along with many other churches, it has become the custom to bless pets on St. Francis day.

St. Francis enjoyed a legendary relationship with animals, and stories about his experiences with them abound. It is said that St. Francis loved animals so much that he regularly bought captured birds and freed them.

Perhaps the best story about St. Francis concerns a wolf that was terrorizing an Italian town. St. Francis convinced the townsfolk to feed the animal regularly in exchange for its friendship. Though there were no wolves at Messiah’s Blessing of the Animals Service, there were 11 dogs and 2 cats.  All of the animals were on their best behavior.

Do you give special thanks for the animals who share your home? Do you count them among the blessings of this life?

Gracious Lord, thank you for the gift of animals.  Thank you for making these dear creatures which have become blessings in our lives.  May we see in them your unfailing love, and may we share with them your boundless compassion.  Amen.