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Pets get blessing on St. Francis' feast day

MIAMI SHORES | Owners flocked to St. Rose of Lima Church Sunday afternoon to get their pets blessed the day before the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, Oct. 4.

Many churches throughout the Archdiocese of Miami marked the feast of the patron saint of animals and the environment with the traditional blessing of pets: usually dogs and cats, but sometimes rabbits and other, more exotic wildlife, like a bearded dragon named Godzilla who was brought to St. Michael the Archangel Church in Miami for its blessing.

"We see the creation of God in animals, and from them we receive accompaniment, love, fidelity. The love of all of these animals gets us closer to God," said Father Elvis Gonzalez, pastor at St. Michael's.

After a few years without the event, Father Gonzalez brought the tradition back last year during the pandemic. This year, over 100 pets were blessed on church grounds.

Other animal blessings took place either Oct. 3, the Sunday before the feast day of St. Francis, or after morning and evening Masses Oct. 4, 2021. 

This article was updated Oct. 5, 2021.

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