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West Hartford Church Blesses Pets in Honor of St. Francis

St. Francis Day is October 4, and in St. James's Episcopal Church honored the saint who was known as the "lover of all creation" with a blessing of the animals.

The service was anything but solemn, as congregants of St. James's Episcopal Church in West Hartford gathered on the front lawn Sunday morning for the annual Blessing of the Animals.

Churchgoers are accustomed to the occasional outburst from an infant or even a rowdy toddler, but on this Sunday woofs and howls also punctuated the prayers as family pets joined their owners for a very special service.

Although some churches have a long history celebrating St. Francis, the patron saint of animals, with the blessing of the animals, St. James's began the new tradition just last year. The service was well-attended, as dogs, cats, and hamsters gathered peacefully with their owners.

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