Owners invited to bring pets to Blessing of the Animals event in Springfield

Hampden County
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Pet owners were invited to bring their animals to Mercy Medical Center Thursday for the annual Blessing of the Animals service.

The Blessing of the Animals event took place under the covered area outside of Patient Registration at Mercy Medical Center from 2:30 to 5 p.m.

The Blessing of the Animals was sponsored by the Spiritual Care Department at the hospital.

All animals were welcome — cats, dogs, birds, farm animals, ect.– but all must be properly restrained.

“We mark the feast of St. Francis of Assisi in October, and his profound love for all types of animals is widely known,” said Bradley Harmon, Executive Director of Mission Integration, Mercy Medical Center. “The Blessing of the Animals is meant to give individuals with animals a chance to reflect on the positive connection they have to our physical and emotional health.”

People brought their dogs and cats to the event for the special blessing. The event marked the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.

22News spoke with the Chaplin who was blessing the animals who explained the reason behind the blessings.   

“Francis during his lifetime had a special love for animals,” said Donatus Ironuma. “It is said that sometimes he referred to them as brothers.”

The Catholic Church celebrates the memorial of St. Francis because of his special love for animals. 

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