Have your animals blessed for World Animal Day

September 26, 2011

Austria's Pfarre Linz - St. Peter church is again offering its traditional animal blessing on October 2, and pet and animal owners from around the world are invited to send a picture to be included.


Haflinger stallion Willie went to the blessing in 2009, along with many cats, dogs, and other pets.

The church in Linz is again offering to bless pets and animals, including horses, dogs, and cats, from afar on October 2, the day before World Animal Day.

World Animal Day marks the commemoration of Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.

For many years pets living within the boundaries of the Parish have been blessed during Holy Mass on the Sunday nearest World Animal Day.

All pets brought to the divine service by their owners are individually blessed.

But a few years ago the parish started offering world-wide participation, following requests from animal owners who were unable to make the trip for various reasons.

"We will post the pictures on a wall at our animal blessing and the pictured pets will be blessed as part of our ceremony," said pastor Franz Zeiger. "They will take part in our animal blessing from afar as we ask for God's blessing on the intercession of St. Francis. A world-wide participation is therefore possible! Prayer and blessing know no boundaries and encompass the whole world!"

Participation is free and pictures from the celebration will be available on the church's homepage from about October 4.

"Last year we received more than 1000 pictures of pets from around the world with the request for prayer and blessing," pastor Zeiger said.

He said that as a result of numerous requests, there would again be a special section for pictures entitled: "Thank you, little light!" - "For pets that have accompanied us for part of our path," pastor Zeiger said. "There will be space for pictures of pets that have died, and that we want to lovingly remember especially on this day."

Owners can send by email a picture with the name on it of their animal - be it a dog, cat, horse, or any other pet - to the parish for the animal blessing.