Saint Francis of Assisi (September 26, 1181 - October 3, 1226) was a Roman Catholic friar and the founder of the Order of Friars Minor, more commonly known as the Franciscans.
He is known as the patron saint of animals, birds, and the environment, and it is customary for Catholic churches, rescues and shelters, and animal community organizations to hold ceremonies honoring animals around his feast day of October 4.
To learn more click here for info:
And here are some great books about St. Francis and Animal Blessings:
Blessing of the Animals: A Guide to Prayers & Ceremonies Celebrating Pets and Other Creatures
This compendium of stories, prayers, ceremonies, and engaging tidbits is a blessing not only for the animals of the world, but for all animal lovers too.
Blessing the Animals: Prayers and Ceremonies to Celebrate God's Creatures Wild and Tame
Take a spiritual journey through this beautiful collection of blessings, prayers and meditations about the creatures, wild and tame, that inhabit our world.
Animal Blessings: Prayers and Poems Celebrating Our Pets
Our pets; they are the unassuming animals who capture our hearts and imaginations. In this elegantly packaged collection, June Cotner gathers readings from sources such as Emily Dickinson, George Eliot, Rumi, Robert Frost, and many others, celebrating the animals who are our teachers, heroes, protectors, and dearest friends.
Blessings for Dogs
Loyal, steadfast, and affectionate, dogs are some of our best companions. We are privileged to share their sweet, joyful natures and to receive their unconditional love. Blessings for Dogs celebrates and pays tribute to this special canine love and care.
If you can't find animal blessings held in your area - here are St. Francis' poems for all animals and those that are sick. Say a prayer for your pup (and kittie, and fishie, and horse, and, and...) today.
For all animals...
Blessed are you, Lord God,
maker of all living creatures.
On the fifth and sixth days of creation,
you called forth fish in the sea,
birds in the air and animals on the land.
You inspired St. Francis to call all animals
his brothers and sisters.
We ask you to bless this animal.
By the power of your love,
enable it to live according to your plan.
May we always praise you
for all your beauty in creation.
Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures!
For a sick animal...
you created all things for your glory
and made us stewards of this creature.
If it is your will, restore it to health and strength.
Blessed are you, Lord God,
and holy is your name for ever and ever.
These aren't always easy to find - to keep that protection going all year long, here are some great St. Francis of Assisi Pet Tag ID charms: