Puttin' a Smile on Grumpy Cat's Face
In the Roman Catholic tradition, October 4 is the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. St. Francis (1182-1226) was a monk who founded the contemporary order of Franciscans. He was known for his vow of poverty and his special connection to animals, among many other things. Many Unitarian Universalists have picked up on the Catholic tradition of blessing animals, particularly pets, on the Sunday closest to October 4. – Ed.Michelle Richards, on September 30th, 2013
St. Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of animals, and his feast day of October 4 is celebrated worldwide by holding pet blessings and similar events throughout the autumn.
While Unitarian Universalist congregations may conduct pet blessings, they are not always associated with the celebration of St. Francis. The time around the autumnal equinox, however, is an excellent season to celebrate the importance of animals in our lives, and you don’t have to count on your congregation to conduct a pet-blessing worship service in order to do it.
The Humane Society of the United States has a terrific resource, a St. Francis Day in a Box kit. It includes information on their Fill the Bowl Project to encourage local donations of pet food, a documentary on factory farming (from a Christian perspective) called Eating Mercifully, and KIND News, the Humane Society’s magazine for school-aged children up to grade 6.Read the full article, including how to celebrate wildlife on the parenting blog on UU World. (Learn about Grumpy Cat or visit on Grumpy Cat on Facebook here.)