Pets will be blessed at both St. John the Baptist Church at the corner of West Fourth and Lark streets in Dunkirk and Trinity Episcopal Church on 11 Day St. (next to the Post Office in Fredonia. The blessings are held in commemoration of St. Francis of Assisi.
All pets, regardless of size or species, are invited to the service to be held on Sunday at 12:15 p.m. at St. John the Baptist. It will be located in front of the church. In case of bad weather, the blessing will take place inside the church.
All participants are asked to write the names of their pets on small index cards and bring them so that each can be individually blessed by name.
Trinity Episcopal Church, will host the service in commemoration of St. Francis on Sunday at 4 p.m. The community is welcome to bring their pets to the front lawn of the church where the blessing will be held. If the weather is inclement, go to the rear of the church to Garland Hall.
St. Francis, the patron saint of animals, is well-known for his love and care for all animals. It has been said that he preached to the birds, blessed fish that had been caught - releasing them back into the water, and that he communicated with wolves. St. Francis was spiritually connected with the animals, called them his brothers and sisters, and felt that the animals had the same relationship with God, as did humans.
In his Canticle of the Sun, Francis wrote, "...Let creatures all give thank to Thee and serve in great humility."