Coast pets take part in Blessing of the Animals tradition

Coast pets take part in Blessing of the Animals tradition
A family brought to guinea pigs to Our Lady of Fatima Elementary for the annual Blessing of the Animals. (Source: Photo WLOX)

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Animals of all shapes and sizes received a Catholic blessing at Our Lady of Fatima Elementary School Friday.

Families brought their furry and feathered friends to the annual Blessing of the Animals. There was a handful of cats and dogs present, but some unique guests included pair of guinea pigs, a parakeet and a duck.

A long line formed as people waited for their pets to receive a blessing from the Rev. Daniel Martinez Patino. He believes being considered to carry out such a task is an honor.

“I think it was a wonderful opportunity to bless the animals because that is part of God’s creation,” said Patino.

Catholic churches around the world took part in the blessing this October to celebrate the life of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.

“We do this every year in honor of St. Francis of Assisi. His feast day was Oct. 4, and he was a lover of animals, so it’s just part of our tradition here at Our Lady of Fatima elementary to bless the pets,” said John Shinn, communications director at Our Lady of Fatima elementary.

Students said that were excited to see their pets get blessed because, as they put it, it’s all part of being in the family.

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