In honor of the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Francis Medical Center is hosting its annual pet blessing for the community and their animals this weekend.

The public is invited to bring their pets to this celebration of St. Francis’ love for all of God’s creation on Sunday, Oct. 4 at 2 p.m.

Father Philip Theempalangattu will administer the pet blessing in Anna Gray Noe Park across from the main entrance of the hospital.

St. Francis is the patron saint of nature, animals and of St. Francis Medical Center’s founders, the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady. The blessing of animals is a tradition that originated in the 13th century in remembrance of St. Francis, who believed all animals should be treated with dignity and respect.

All pets are welcome, but pet owners are asked to have their pets leashed or secured for the protection of their pet and other pets at the park. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, masks and social distancing are required.

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