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
NEW 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.
It was 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
"We 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.
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.
"In most 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.
And in recent years, the blessing
services in honor of St. Francis have taken on a new connotation.
"With 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
Correspondent Cynthia Tornquist contributed to this