SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – The Tenderloin-based St. Anthony Foundation is holding its annual blessing of the animals on Sunday, Oct. 2 at St. Boniface Roman Catholic Church, according to a press release.
“Furry, scaled, or winged – all critters are welcome to receive a special benediction from a Franciscan Friar,” the foundation stated in the press release.
The St. Anthony Foundation, founded in 1950, operates a dining hall and has programs for addiction recovery and people who need clothes and job skills.
“All are welcome to join us for the blessing of the animals at St. Boniface: individuals, families, and their animal companions – well-behaved or not,” St. Anthony CEO Nils Behnke stated to KRON4. “Our pets have gifted us with a sense of joy and calm throughout the pandemic, so it feels good to honor them in the spirit of St. Francis who is the patron saint of animals because he loved all creatures.”
St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of San Francisco, is also the Catholic patron saint of animals and the environment. On or around his feast day, which is Oct. 4, it is customary for pet owners to have their furry friends blessed.
Stuffed animals are also welcome to be blessed, the press release states, and there will be a special pet award ceremony with prizes for pets who are “best behaved,” “most exotic,” and “closest resemblance to owner.”
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The blessing will be from 1-3 p.m. at the St. Boniface courtyard, at 133 Golden Gate Avenue near Jones Street.