Sunday, St. Francis Day, saw the blessing of the animals around the world. An Italian Catholic friar and mystic, St. Francis of Assisi (1181 or 1182 to 1226) was the patron saint of animals.
Pastor Will Kroeze was doing the honors in the corner garden at Trinity Lower East Side Lutheran Church, at Avenue B and E. Ninth St.
“Normally we would be doing it in the church,” he said. “Because of COVID we’re doing it as a walk-through.”
Also different this year, Kroezer was only seeing dogs and cats.
“Usually there would be some birds, a rabbit or two. Not today,” he said.
A local resident who only gave his last name, Colon, brought his dog Snoop for a blessing. Snoop was a little feisty at first but eventually consented to the receive the rite.
Snoop, a Pomeranian-Chihuahua mix, is getting up there. He’s 16.
“That’s why I said, let me take advantage of this,” Colon said. “I had him for 16 years. I hope I get another 16 with him.”
Just like “You don’t have to be Jewish to love Levy’s rye bread,” anyone can get their animal blessed on St. Francis Day.
Lexa Rosean brought Rosie, her Peagle, a Pekinese-Beagle, by for the spiritual experience.
“I’m a Jew witch but I love St. Francis of Assisi,” she said. “One year we went to the Cathedral of St. John’s and it was so wonderful.”