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St. Paul’s Episcopal Church to hold pet blessing

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Picayune will soon hold a pet blessing in honor of St. Francis of Assisi Day.

The church’s Deacon in charge Scott Williams said while he has only been with St. Paul’s for about two years, the church has been doing these blessings for years. He said the event is in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, who was famous for blessing animals and livestock during his time in ministry.

The event will be held on Sept. 30 at 2 p.m. on the front lawn of the church. There will be a short service followed by individual blessings for all of the pets, Williams said.

Williams said people can bring any kind of pet they would like to have blessed, including horses, lizards, dogs, cats, rodents and any other pet.

“You name it, I’ve seen it. The cats are particularly cantankerous,” Williams said.

After blessing each pet, the owner is given a small medal to commemorate their attendance. Williams said this event is one of the ways the church reaches out. He said it’s a community offering.

“It’s a fun time,” Williams said.

Williams said this event is a nation-wide affair, with churches across the country holding similar events on or around St. Francis’ Feast Day, which falls on Oct. 4. He said St. John the Divine Church in Manhattan has one of the largest pet blessings in the nation, with giraffes, llamas, camels, reindeer, sheep, pigs, kangaroos, peacocks and countless other types of animals.