Blessing of Pets for St. Francis Day

Photos by Jeannine Rippa

Several churches across Rockland County conducted a procession of animals in which dogs, cats, turtles, snakes and birds, are led to churches for a special ceremony called the Blessing of Pets. This custom is held in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi’s love for all creatures. The memorial of St. Francis of Assisi falls on October 4.

Fr. John Palatucci, Parochial Vicar, blesses the animals on Friday night, in front of St. Paul RC Church, Congers.
Fr. John Palatucci, Parochial Vicar, blesses the animals on Friday night, in front of St. Paul RC Church, Congers.
Even the smallest of creatures, including a turtle, were blessed by Fr. John Palatucci at St. Paul RC Church, Congers, on Friday, Oct. 4, 2013.
Even the smallest of creatures, including a turtle, were blessed by Fr. John Palatucci at St. Paul RC Church, Congers, on Friday, Oct. 4, 2013.
On Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, Fr. Bill Cosgrove, pastor, blesses a cat and a dog in the parking lot of St. Augustine RC Church, New City.
On Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, Fr. Bill Cosgrove, pastor, blesses a cat and a dog in the parking lot of St. Augustine RC Church, New City.
 Fr. Bill Cosgrove, pastor of St. Augustine RC Church, blesses two dogs.
Fr. Bill Cosgrove, pastor of St. Augustine RC Church, blesses two dogs.
 Fr. Robert McKeon, Pastor, and Rev. Raphael Tawiah, Parochial Vicar, bless animals in front of the gazebo at St. Francis RC Church, West Nyack, on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013.
Fr. Robert McKeon, Pastor, and Rev. Raphael Tawiah, Parochial Vicar, bless animals in front of the gazebo at St. Francis RC Church, West Nyack, on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013.