UIW Celebrates Blessing of the Animals

October 6, 2023

On Tuesday, October 3, the eve of the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, UIW held its annual Blessing of the Animals. UIW and San Antonio community members gathered at the Lourdes Grotto in prayer to celebrate all of God’s creations, specifically, our four-legged companions.

These loving creatures that offer us slobbery kisses, soft cuddles, and unconditional love have made a home in our hearts for years upon years. Many people would even say that their pets are members of their families.

The Blessing of the Animals offered the opportunity for people to honor their pets and express the value they hold towards them.

Sr. Martha Ann Kirk, CCVI led the event, guiding attendees through prayer, dance, and song.

Pet owners harmonized and moved their bodies in unison as they expressed their thanks for their pets and celebrated creation. Some even helped to guide their pets through dance, delicately maneuvering their paws through the motions, while some dogs barked along in song.

Each four-legged creature received a blessing from Sr. Martha Ann, who asked that God offer them protection and happiness all the days of their lives as she lightly sprinkled them with holy water. Photographs of pets that were unable to physically attend the event were also blessed. Even pets that have passed away received a blessing, as some attendees brought the ashes of their beloved companions. No pet was denied a blessing.

The Feast of St. Francis of Assisi commemorates the life of St. Francis, who is recognized as the patron saint of animals and the environment. On the eve of this day, those who attended the event embodied St. Francis’ love and appreciation for animals, acknowledging that they are more than just pets. They are blessings that bring abundant joy to our lives.