Offbeat: Mexican church blesses furry friends for World Animal Day - - PressFrom - Australia
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Offbeat Mexican church blesses furry friends for World Animal Day

10:15  05 october  2019
10:15  05 october  2019 Source:   msn.com

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Standing in the church 's door, priest Juan Jose Leal blessed the animals , then sprinkled them with holy water as the owners each named their pets Launched in 1925 by German writer, publisher and pet enthusiast Heinrich Zimmermann, World Animal Day seeks to raise awareness about animal

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a man and a woman sitting at a table: A catholic faithful receives the Eucharist as she brings her pet to be blessed at the Church of Saint Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals, whose feast marks World Animal Day in Zapopan, Jalisco state in Mexico, on October 4, 2019© ULISES RUIZ A catholic faithful receives the Eucharist as she brings her pet to be blessed at the Church of Saint Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals, whose feast marks World Animal Day in Zapopan, Jalisco state in Mexico, on October 4, 2019

Chihuahuas, parakeets and turtles joined their human companions for services at a Catholic church Friday in the Mexican city of Zapopan, where they got a special blessing for World Animal Day.

Pets joined their owners in the pews of the city's Saint Francis of Assisi church, named for the patron saint of animals, whose feast day is October 4.

Parishioners in the western city could be seen praying with their birds perched on their shoulders, sitting next to plastic receptacles holding their turtles or taking their communion wafers as their dogs keenly watched.

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World Animal Day is an international day of action for animal rights and welfare celebrated annually on October 4, the feast day of Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals .

A procession of animals , everything from dogs and cats to hamsters and even horses, is led to churches for a special ceremony called the Blessing of Pets. That there are today over 62 million cats in the U.S. attests to the continuing affection we have for our furry , feathered or finned friends .

a person holding a dog: Catholic faithfuls bring their pets to be blessed at the Church of Saint Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals, whose feast marks World Animal Day in Zapopan, Jalisco state in Mexico, on October 4, 2019© ULISES RUIZ Catholic faithfuls bring their pets to be blessed at the Church of Saint Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals, whose feast marks World Animal Day in Zapopan, Jalisco state in Mexico, on October 4, 2019

Lucia Rincon, who attended the mass with her German shepherd, said she and her brother try to bring him every year.

"We're big believers in Saint Francis, and we know animals need a guide, too. And what better blessing than that of Saint Francis?" Rincon, 36, told AFP.

Standing in the church's door, priest Juan Jose Leal blessed the animals, then sprinkled them with holy water as the owners each named their pets: "Daisy," "Cinnamon," "Cucho."

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Catholic faithfuls bring their pets to be blessed at the Church of Saint Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals, whose feast marks World Animal Day in Zapopan, Jalisco state in Mexico, on October 4, 2019© ULISES RUIZ Catholic faithfuls bring their pets to be blessed at the Church of Saint Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals, whose feast marks World Animal Day in Zapopan, Jalisco state in Mexico, on October 4, 2019

"They are part of our lives, part of our homes. May we love them and care for them, and may God help us be responsible in caring for these little animals," said Leal.

Launched in 1925 by German writer, publisher and pet enthusiast Heinrich Zimmermann, World Animal Day seeks to raise awareness about animal welfare and protection.

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