The traditional blessing of animals celebrates the life of St. Francis of Assisi, whose Feast Day is Oct. 4. St. Francis is known for his love of all creatures. Pets should be leashed or in pet carriers; if your pet can’t travel, take a photo to a blessing. Blessing of pets will take place at the following churches.
Christ Our Savior Parish: Pet blessings will be at 2:30 p.m. today at St. Nicholas Church Great Hall, 764 Fifth St., Struthers. The new shrine to St. Francis also will be dedicated.
Historic Lutheran Church of St. John, 1429 Mahoning Ave., Youngstown: Blessing of animals at 12:30 p.m. Sunday. All are welcome.
Holy Apostles Parish: A pet blessing by the Rev. Joseph S. Rudjak, pastor, and Deacon George Paulicivic will be at 2 p.m. Oct. 19 at Sts. Peter and Paul Croatian Catholic Church, 421 Covington St., Youngstown.
Holy Family Church, 2729 Center Road, Poland: Blessing of pets will be at 3 p.m. Sunday by Deacon Ray Hatala, pastoral associate, and Permanent Deacon Ernie Formichelli. Each pet will get an individual blessing and a gift will be given to owners. The blessing will begin in the playground and proceed to the church.
Jerusalem Lutheran Church, 415 S. Main St., Columbiana: A blessing will be Sunday at the 9 a.m. worship. Angels for Animals will have pets for adoption.
Lord of Life Lutheran Church, 550 N. Broad St., Canfield: A brief service and blessing is planned at 1 p.m. Sunday.
On the website www.americancatholic.org, click on St. Francis listed under Catholic saints. Find information on St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals, who loved pet blessings across the United States and more. If you can’t take your pet to be blessed, here’s “do-it-yourself” Franciscan animal blessings: Blessed are you, Lord God, maker of all living creatures. On the fifth and sixth days of creation, you called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air and animals on the land. You inspired St. Francis to call all animals his brothers and sisters. We ask you to bless this animal. By the power of your love, enable it to live according to your plan. May we always praise you for all your beauty in creation. Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures! Amen.