Local pets will get a little extra special treatment this weekend as several Wilmington area churches celebrate St. Francis Day with Blessing of the Animals ceremonies.
St. Francis of Assisi's Feast Day is Oct.4, and many churches celebrate the saint's love of animals by saying prayers for pets and anointing them during prayer services.
Read more about St. Francis here.
The Rev. Gerry Blackburn, rector of Church of the Good Shepherd, said St. Francis' example of caring for the poor and animals in his lifetime "helped us connect with nature and animals as all part of God's creation that we should value and treat with kindness," he said. "So when you bless an animal, it's really more of a pronouncement of God's love and God's favor on animals."
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Wilmington will hold a public Blessing of the Animals service at 4 p.m. Oct. 7, in honor of St. Francis Day at the corner of 16th and Market streets. Details: 910-762-4578.
The Church of the Good Shepherd will hold a blessing of the animals service at 4 p.m. Oct. 7 at their church on the corner of 6th and Queen streets. The church recommends bringing pet carriers for cats and smaller animals. Details: 910-763-6080.
St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church will hold a blessing of the animals at 4 p.m. Oct. 7 at their church, 12 N. 6th St. Details: 910-762-4882.
St. Mary Catholic Church will hold a blessing of the animals at 9 a.m. Oct. 6 by the church's preschool playground at 4th and Ann streets. Real and stuffed animals are welcome. Details: 910-762-5491.
If you don't see your blessing of the animals service listed here, let us know.