Blessing of the Animals Sunday at Jerusalem Western Salisbury Church
- Name: Jerusalem Western Salisbury Church
- Occasion: Worship Service
Join us at 3 p.m. on Sunday, October 7, for a Blessing of the Animals Service at Jerusalem Western Salisbury Church's outside grove, 3441 Devonshire Road, Allentown (Salisbury Township). The service will be held outdoors, weather permitting, otherwise it will be moved indoors.
Many churches hold a special service to bless pets and other animals on or near October 4, because that is the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.
Francis was born into a wealthy family of merchants in the year 1182. According to his story, one day he heard the voice of Jesus say to him, "Francis, repair my falling house." Francis took these words literally, and sold a bale of silk from his father's warehouse to pay for repairs to the church of San Damiano. His father was outraged, and there was a public confrontation at which his father disowned him, and Francis in turn renounced his father's wealth. He declared himself wedded to "Lady Poverty", and devoted the rest of his life to serving the poor.
Many of the stories about Francis’ life deal with his love for the animals. My favorite story about St. Francis involves a rabbit. One day a brother brought Francis a rabbit that had been caught in a trap. Francis told the rabbit to be more alert in the future, then released it from the trap and set it free. But the rabbit hopped back up onto Francis’ lap, wanting to be close to him. Francis took the rabbit a few steps into the woods and set it down. But it followed Francis back to his seat and hopped on his lap again! Maybe the rabbit was responding to the abundant love it felt from Francis, love of God which he poured out on all creatures.
May we always love our animals (and each other!) the way God loves us. We hope to see you October 7!
Rev. Homer E. Royer, Senior Pastor
Rev. Samantha Drennan, Associate Pastor