|Saint Francis of Assisi|
by Raffaello Sanzio
When Francis was growing up, his father was rich, and he was such a happy child that people let him get away with being picky, selfish or lazy. As a young man, he had many friends who only cared about having parties, and Francis was their leader. It took God a long time to reach Francis, and that was only after he was humiliated and rejected by his own dad. Francis slowly learned to pray, to repent of his sins, to accept the poor and lepers with a sincere embrace, and to live a life of humble service. Even though he was never ordained a priest, Francis preached about loving God and being obedient to His will and living as brothers and sisters. His idea of brotherhood included the birds and beasts of all kinds, which is why we know him as a patron of animals.
If you have a pet, you may be able to take it to a Blessing of Pets at a local parish. If you can’t find a church that is hosting a blessing, you can still bless your pet at home, using the same prayer. And it you don’t have a pet, you can ask God to bless wildlife for His glory.
Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us!
More reading for parents:
Jimmy Akin’s column at the National Catholic Register