BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Several residents brought their pets to the Church of the Redeemer to be blessed by Father Michael Weatherington Sunday morning.
The 800-year-old tradition was the creation of St. Francis of Assisi, the Patron Saint of Animals.
"He had a reputation for loving God's created order, and a particular affinity for animals and the natural beauty that surrounded him," said Father Weatherington
Catholics all around the world celebrated their pets on Oct. 2, the closest Sunday to the Feast Day of St. Francis.
"Me and my wife have done this for the past couple years as part of the Episcopal Church. It means a lot because our dog means a lot in our lives. We both really love dogs. I grew up with dogs so has my wife, so yeah, she holds a really dear place to us," said Ryan Kolodzej of his dog, Izzy.
"Jesus loves all animals and we wants all animals to be blessed," added Angelina Donaldson.