Each year near the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi (October 4) we have a service for The Blessing of the Animals at Galveston’s Trinity Church. People of all ages bring creatures of all kinds to be blessed. We do this out of our awareness of the unique role humans play as stewards of all creation, particularly in relation to other living creatures with whom we share this planet.
Many of the stories surrounding the life of St. Francis have to do with his love for animals. He believed that the world was created good and beautiful by God but needs redemption because of original human sin. He preached to man and beast the universal ability and duty of all creatures to praise God and the responsibility of human beings to protect and enjoy nature as stewards of God's creation and as creatures ourselves. Legend has it that before his death St. Francis thanked his donkey at his bedside for carrying and helping him throughout his life, and his donkey wept.