Blessing of the Animals This Weekend on LBI, in Tuckerton

Sep 25, 2017
File Photo by: Marjorie Amon The Blessing of the Animals at St. Francis in Brant Beach.

St. Francis of Assisi’s love of animals is legendary. The story goes like this: One day, long before he was a saint, he and his companions saw a plethora of birds of all types as they were walking through the Spoleto Valley in the central part of Italy. He ran after the birds and when he started speaking to them, they didn’t scurry off.

Whether that is the beginning of his love of animals is unknown. What is known is every year as his feast day nears, churches around the world host a blessing of the animals in his honor.

Locally, St. Francis of Assisi in Brant Beach is hosting its annual event 10 a.m. this Saturday, Sept. 30, rain or shine. The animals are blessed, and presented with a St. Francis medal for their collar or cage.

On Sunday, Holy Spirit Episcopal Church in Tuckerton is hosting its annual event.

“It’s for everyone who loves their animals,” Louise Wagner, who is organizing the event for Holy Spirit this year, said. “My religion and my animals are important to me. That’s why I agreed to take charge.”

Animals should be leashed or in a carrier. This year, Kimmy’s Safe Haven, a local no-kill shelter, will be there accepting donations of canned cat or dog food, kitty litter, clean blankets and towels, Wagner said. Monetary donations are also welcome, she said.

The event, which begins at 2 p.m. in the circular driveway if the skies are clear, draws about 50 pet owners and their best friends, Wagner said. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, the event will be held inside in the downstairs basement.  —G.G.S.

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