By Rhina Guidos
Sister St. John, of the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration, holds Marlie during the blessing of the animals at the Franciscan Monastery.
WASHINGTON (CNS) -– A few fights broke out among the dogs, including the dapper ones who dressed up for the occasion. A parakeet was silenced by the cacophony of barks. The cats merely tolerated everyone else.
One pup couldn’t take the pressure, got loose and ran for freedom but soon was caught and forced to sit tight today during the blessing of the animals at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America.
On the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, Franciscan Father Greg Friedman told the pet lovers gathered at the monastery the tale of St. Francis befriending a wolf in the Italian town of Gubbio, even when the angry townsfolk wanted to kill the animal.
“Francis was willing to befriend anything that God created,” said Father Friedman.
The saint’s message was one of creating peace and promoting harmony, he said. While that may not have gotten through to the barking dogs in the crowd, at least one pair of pets — a dog and a cat that arrived together in the same carrier — seemed to live in the Franciscan spirit. For more photos, see our photo gallery on our Catholic News Service Facebook page: (Read More)