Pet blessings across the U.S.

Capuchin Franciscan Father Paul Zaborowski, pastor of St. Ambrose Church in Baltimore, blesses 3-month-old German shepherd puppy Maximus during the blessing of the animals in 2007. (CNS/Chaz Muth, Catholic Review)

Capuchin Franciscan Father Paul Zaborowski, pastor of St. Ambrose Church in Baltimore, blesses 3-month-old German shepherd puppy Maximus during a blessing of the animals in 2007. (CNS/Chaz Muth, Catholic Review)

Pets and farm animals across the country get a special church blessing Oct. 4, the feast day of  St. Francis of Assisi. These outdoor blessing ceremonies — on parish grounds or church parking lots — involve creatures great and small.

To find out just where you can bring your dog, cat or lizard, check out the 14th annual listing of pet blessing sites provided by the Catholic magazine St. Anthony Messenger. The diverse list reveals a trend in pet blessings. Many parishes collect donations for pet shelters or those in need. They often provide snacks (for pets and owners) and always require pets to be leashed or in cages.

While one site specifically noted that no animal was too large, another drew a line on one kind of pet. It specificially asked for no snakes.

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