All creatures great and small blessed in Bainbridge

Published 5:47 pm Tuesday, October 11, 2016


Proud animal lovers brought their pets to St. John’s Episcopal Church on Saturday, October 8, where they each received an individual blessing. The blessing was administered by The Rev. Judy Jones-Keith, who greeted each animal and owner with a brief prayer, “(Name of animal) may you be protected and loved through the intercession of St. Francis. May you and (name of the owner) enjoy life together and find joy with the God who created you.”

At the conclusion of the prayer, each animal received a sprinkle of holy water on its head, administered with a small branch of rosemary.

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Each year, the closest day to the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi in October, St. John’s Episcopal Church has held an Annual Blessing of the Animals on the church lawn behind the church at 516 East Broughton Street in Bainbridge.

St. Francis was canonized in 1228 and became associated with patronage of animals and the natural environment. It became customary to hold ceremonies blessing animals on his feast day.

Staff and friends of the Bainbridge-Decatur Humane Society were on hand to bring attention to their work.

They brought some current residents, a three legged dog and a pet rat for blessings. No doubt some of the other animals were adoptees from the shelter.