All creatures of our God and King

Tomorrow is the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, and with it comes the Blessing of Pets. Do you have this at your parish? Or are you otherwise familiar with it?

I wasn’t until I went to college — a Franciscan college — and St. Francis’ Feast Day was a big deal, and so was the blessing of the pets. Now my home parish, which is Redemptorist, does so too.

This year’s feast is particularly poignant for my family, as my brother’s dog died this week — Finnegan, nicked Finney, a boxer. He joined our family in 2006, when my oldest was about the age my youngest is now … there’s been much grieving this week … what a sadness it is when a beloved pet dies! And what a balm to know of St. Francis’ love for animals.

I liked this little article about the feast and the blessing, written by Fr. Kevin Mackin, OFM, former president of my alma mater.

Happy Feast of St. Francis, and God bless all your pets!

ETA: I forgot that I wanted to ask you all about your pets’ names! I’d love to see how your taste changes from naming babies to naming pets. 😉


18 thoughts on “All creatures of our God and King

  1. My home parish does have a blessing of the animals! It’s quite crazy to sit next to a fish while in church! I’m not sure if my university has one. I wasn’t around this weekend last year, so I didn’t find out, I guess I will tomorrow!

    I have two cats at home. They’re Milo and Eleanor (I somehow got naming privileges on both, and let me just say I regret using Eleanor for a pet 😦 ). In the past we’ve also had Agnes, Joey, and Lydia. My sisters also have cats, and they are named Leroy and Phoebe.


  2. I grew up with a dachsy named, “Miss Magnolia Blossom the Seventh” (because apparently there were 6 prior Miss Magnolia Blossoms registered somewhere pet-related). We called her “Maggie” for short most of the time (so apparently, when it comes to pets, I switch from a full-nand girl to a nickname person? Lol).

    We also had a lab named Midnight and a white German Shepard named Frosty (but my stepdad named him. I don’t recall being part of that process).

    One of the most memorable pets in our family history was a German Shephard named, Schatzie (pronounced “shotsie”… It’s a German pet name that basically means “sweetie.”). Very smart dog with almost human qualities.

    Lastly, my twin sister has a dog they adopted who came with the name Coco Chanel. They just call her Coco. 🙂 Another nickname situation.

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  3. And now that you bring up pets, naming Maggie was my first really big naming memory. We got out a name book and everything. We almost named her “Mabel” before deciding on Miss Magnolia Blossom (can you tell what region in the US we might be from? Lol).

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  4. We currently have three cats, Widget, Goldwine, and Nefertari. Widget belongs to my husband and was named by him. Goldie was named by my 3yo, after Goldie the fish in Peppa Pig, and I decided we’d make that a nickname and pick a proper name for him. The element ‘wine’ derives from Old German wini or Old English wine which means ‘friend’, and since I hope he’ll be her friend forever, I thought it was appropriate. Neffie is mine, we got her from the shelter a few months ago after my dearly beloved Slinky died, after more than a decade together. Nefertari is an ancient Egyptian name meaning ‘beautiful companion’, and it suits her in all respects, even if that lofty name often ends up getting reduced to “Beffers”.

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    • Growing up, we had one cat who went through names serially (Speed Bump, Bumper, Nutsy Wacko, N’wah, and a few others before settling down as Graystone/Gracie/Grey Cat), while another collected names and strung them all together until we ended up with Esmurphelda Bertha Louise Lloyd Mauritz Wilson Friedemann, aka Duppy Lou.

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      • Haha! I too can remember all the crazy names/nicknames of all our pets, but from the outside looking in it seems particularly amazing that you can remember all those names!


  5. My husband and I got our first dog a year after we were married, a beagle we named Lucy. This is funny with our last name. She died 3 years ago at age 12. We’ve since added a Great Dane named Daisy by our oldest daughter (and her middle name is Petunia!), and two cats: Millie was named by me and Alice was named by our 6-year-old daughter. Alice is her very favorite name in the whole world so I hope she doesn’t regret it later.

    Our church used to do a blessing of animals on the feast of St. Francis but our current pastor ended the practice.

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