Animal lovers from around Maine are invited to flock to several opportunities to have their animal companions blessed outdoors in celebration of Saint Francis of Assisi’s Feast Day, Oct. 4.

All pets are welcome to attend seven Blessing of the Animals events scheduled for early October. As prayers are offered, the pets will be gently sprinkled with holy water.

Saint Francis of Assisi was known for his love of all of God’s creatures. The Blessing of the Animals remembers Francis’ love by invoking God’s blessing on the animals and thanking God for letting us share the earth. The blessing also recognizes the important place that pets hold in people’s hearts.

Here are the Blessing of the Animals in chronological order:

• Sunday, Oct. 2

3 p.m., parking lot of St. Catherine of Sienna Church, 32 Paris St., Norway;

• Tuesday, Oct. 4

7:50 a.m., parking lot of St. James Catholic School, 25 Graham St., Biddeford;

4:30 p.m., front lawn of the Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul, 122 Ash St., Lewiston;

• Saturday, Oct. 8

9 a.m., outside of Sacred Heart Church, 326 Main St., Yarmouth;

10 a.m., gardens of St. Louis Church, 279 Danforth St., Portland;

• Sunday, Oct. 9

Noon, parking lot of St. Augustine Church, 75 Northern Ave., Augusta;

3 p.m., parking lot of St. Anthony of Padua Church, 268 Brown St., Westbrook.

For more information, call the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland at 321-7810.


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