Mount Gilead church to host “blessing of the animals”

St. Francis of Assisi (seen here in a stained glass window at St. Andrew's Episcopal Cathedral in Honolulu, Hawaii) is the patron saint of animals. (RNS photo by Kevin Eckstrom, used with permission)

St. Francis of Assisi (seen here in a stained glass window at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Cathedral in Honolulu, Hawaii) is the patron saint of animals. (RNS photo by Kevin Eckstrom, used with permission)

First Presbyterian Church in Mount Gilead will have a “Blessing of the Animals” service this weekend.

Such services have become increasingly popular throughout the country, often coinciding with the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, whose writings included praise to God for animals he called our “brother and sister creatures.”

Church pastor Rev. Leila Evans said all interested pet owners are invited to bring their animals to the blessing service, which will begin Sun., Oct. 20, at 3 p.m. on the lawn of First Presbyterian Church, N. Main St., Mount Gilead.

The church asks that dogs be kept on leashes and cats in carriers for the service. More information is available from the church at 910-439-6605.

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