Dozens of people with dogs, cats, rabbits and other furry friends gathered outside the convent of St. Francis of Assisi in the Peruvian capital Lima on Sunday for an annual pet blessing. The Associated Press captured the moment in the raw video embedded below.
The Blessing of the Pets is officially scheduled for October 4. AmericanCatholic.org offers an online directory where you can find out where pet blessings will be conducted around the world on or near October 4, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. Just type in your city and the directory will give you the nearest location of a pet blessing ceremony.
The "Blessing of the Pets" is conducted in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi’s love for all creatures. American Catholic explains that "Francis wrote a Canticle of the Creatures, an ode to God’s living things. “All praise to you, Oh Lord, for all these brother and sister creatures." At Franciscan churches, a friar with brown robe and white cord often welcomes each animal with a special prayer.