By Charly SHELTON
Last Sunday, churches around the Crescenta Valley celebrated the Blessing of the Animals, an annual tradition for many. Pets were invited to come to church and bring their owners to celebrate the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi.
St. Francis, born Giovanni “Francesco” di Pietro di Bernardone in 1182, is the Christian founder of the First Order, or the Order of Friars Minor, commonly known as the Franciscan monks. He is the patron saint of Italy, the environment and animals.
To celebrate his feast day on Oct. 4, many churches hold a special mass to bless their parishioners’ furry friends and bring them closer to God.
St. George’s Episcopal Church in La Cañada held a blessing of the animals last Sunday, the closest Sunday to Oct. 4. Rev. Amy Pringle (above) blessed each animal with a prayer and a hug in a service held on the front lawn of the church.
“I believe we have proven here today, definitively, that all pets do go to heaven!” Rev. Pringle said.