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Jakarta Post

Blessed art thou: Pets go to church for Saint Francis Day

  • Budi Sutrisno

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, October 7, 2019   /  01:53 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
In commemoration of Saint Francis Day, a day to honor the patron saint of animals, St Gabriel Catholic Church in East Jakarta holds an animal blessings ceremony on Sunday.(JP/Budi Sutrisno)

An uncommon and vibrant sight elevated Sunday’s atmosphere at Saint Gabriel Catholic Church in East Jakarta with dozens of animals adorned in lovely, colorful clothing and ribbons gathering around, well behaved yet excited to see their friends of various kinds. Later in the morning, after two weekly masses, worshippers walked with their pets to line up at the entrance hall of the Pulo Gebang parish. A green-robed priest, accompanied by several acolytes, sprinkled holy water on the animals. This animal-blessing ceremony was a late commemoration of St Francis Day, celebrated each year on Oct. 4. St Francis of Assisi, Italy, was the founder of the Franciscan order, and is known as the patron saint of animals. After the ceremony, Bombi, a big 5-year-old male golden retriever with a chain around his neck played and jumped around with his new human friends. Meanwhile, ...