October 7, 2015 8:09 pm admin
by Pamela Fitzpatrick
Saint Francis of Assisi, the beloved patron saint of animals, is remembered globally on his October 4 feast day.
St. Francis was known for his relationship with animals, and for his love of nature. According to legend, St. Francis was traveling with a group of friars when he stopped to give a sermon to some birds in trees. The birds remained at attention, and did not fly away or chirp until he was finished. To honor St Francis, churches all over the world hold ceremonies for animals, blessing dogs, cats and other pets.
St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, on Middle Road in Sayville held their annual blessing ceremony on Sunday, October 4. A nice sized crowd of people and their assorted pets turned out. There were dogs of all sizes, cats, and even a rabbit! All the pet owners gathered in front of the church on a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon.
As always, the ceremony was lovely. Afterward, Reverend Diane Britt and Reverend Jae Chung moved through the crowd, individually blessing each animal. The animals were very well behaved and everyone received their blessing calmly.
It is always a pleasure to watch this time honored tradition, which brings people and their pets together. The legacy of St Francis has continued on for over 800 years, in a world he could never have imagined.
In keeping with tradition the world over, the ceremony ended with the Prayer of St. Francis, also known as the Peace Prayer:
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, the truth;
Where there is doubt, the faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
About St. Ann’s
St Ann’s Episcopal Church established in Sayville in 1866, is located on Middle Road. They hold the Blessing of the Animals each year on the Sunday closest to the Feast of St Francis.
For information about this beautiful historical church visit their website at http://www.saint-anns.org.