DAY THE ROMAN CHURCH
IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST
This has been going on for
many years. Saint Francis of Assisi was a sissy who thought that not taking a
bath was a supreme act of holiness and consecration. If we could bring Saint
Fran back, we might prefer the pig to the alleged saint. This blessing of
the animals is perhaps the highest form of blasphemy committed by the Roman Catholic
Church next to the Mass itself.
Animals blessed in tribute to St. Francis of Assisi
YORK (CNN) -- New York's Cathedral of St. John the Divine had a few unusual visitors
Sunday -- an elephant, a camel, a monkey and a pet pig among them.
all part of a celebration dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi. Many Christians
-- in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and other cities across the United
States-- paid tribute to the 13th century saint by holding a special service to
honor today one of the most simple, plain, unassuming saints," said the Very Rev.
Harry Pritchett of St. John the Divine. "St. Francis is noted for his amazing
hospitality to all creatures."
The Italian saint, who died in 1226, was well-known for his preaching, poverty
and gentleness. Tradition holds that animals responded to his kindness by listening
to his sermons.
Ever since, Christians have commemorated Francis on the first Sunday in October
by blessing animals. The services were first conceived as a way to give thanks
for the creatures who served man by tilling in the fields or pulling artillery
on the battlefield -- or filling plates on the dinner table.
reverence for animals is, of course, not simply a Christian tradition.
of the other religions of the world, there's a sense that respecting animal life
is part of the natural makeup of human beings and, indeed, part of the moral sensitivity
that makes us human," said Dr. Ron Long of Hunter College.
recent years, the blessing services in honor of St. Francis have taken on a new
our increasing attention to the environment and to ecological issues and ecological
justice, (it) has taken on a whole new meaning and power," said Pritchett. "I
think the message really is that if we're all creatures of God, nothing is expendable."
Cynthia Tornquist contributed to this report.