CORDOVA, TN (WMC) - Every year on October 4, Catholics around the world celebrate the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.
The whole family celebrates – including the four-legged ones.
Animals big and small, old and young, lap dogs and even working K-9's received a Catholic blessing at Saint Francis of Assisi Church on the Feast Day of its namesake.
“St. Francis is the patron of animals, and we know his story that he tamed a wolf,” said Religion Coordinator Bethany Odom.
That wolf’s ancestors mainly made up the crowd at the Cordova church. But other pets like bunnies, kittens and snakes were also there.
The largest of all the animals was a Memphis Police horse!
While animal blessings have accompanied this day for decades, some animals at the service received their first blessing.
“We just adopted her in April from the Germantown shelter, and she's never been blessed,” said pet owner Jana Ortiz.
“It brings so much excitement to the kids to get to bring their own pets and have them blessed and know they have that extra blessing throughout the year,” Odom said.
During mass before the blessing, the priest told the students they could learn a lot about love and family from their pets.
“She’s a great part of the family,” Ortiz said.
“They’re part of the family so they need a blessing too,” said pet owner Laurie Fullen.