ANIMAL BLESSING CEREMONY ON THE FEAST OF ST FRANCIS
Following Animal Welfare Sunday, on Tuesday 4th October, to celebrate St. Francis on his feast day, and the likelihood that the saint visited Cyprus in 1220 on his way to the Holy Land, a blessing of pet animals was conducted at 4.00 p.m. in the grounds of Ayia Kyriaki, St Paul’s Pillar, Paphos. The occasion was shared with Father Jim Kennedy and our Roman Catholic friends. Fr. Carlos Ferrero and Fr. Fernando Flores also came along.
The occasion was well attended by around 25 pet owners with their well mannered dogs which came in all shapes and sizes, but only dogs. Perhaps reflecting the maturity of those attending, there was not a single rabbit, hamster, gerbil, goldfish or budgerigar in sight. In the peaceful shade of the eucalyptus trees adjacent to Ayia Kyriaki The Rev’d Andrew Burtt read a short prayer by way of introduction and then two orderly queues were formed, one in front of Father Jim and the other before Rev’d Andrew for the individual blessing of each dog and the laying on of reassuring strokes. For absent pet cats left at home Fr. Jim read out a short blessing and Jacquie Hammond wound up the occasion by reading a touching poem about the relationship between humans and their dogs.