5 Prayers and Blessings for Animals and Pets

On the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals, words of thanks and praise for the creatures who enrich our lives.

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Posted in , Oct 1, 2018

Holding a pet rabbit

The Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi is coming.

The what of whom? you might ask.

The Feast of Saint Francis occurs October 4 every year. It commemorates the life of Saint Francis, who was born in the 12th century and is the patron saint of animals. Many churches of various denominations (Roman Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, etc.) celebrate and honor Saint Francis by offering services in which animals are blessed and prayed for. Some also collect pet food for distribution throughout the year to seniors and other animal lovers who might otherwise sacrifice or struggle to provide for the animals they love.

Any day, of course, is a good day to give thanks to God for His wonderful works, but the Feast of Saint Francis provides an opportunity to give thanks for the animals that enrich our lives, and also to help the “least” of the beasts—strays, abused and forgotten animals. If you’re so inclined, here are five prayers you can use to bless the beasts—and the leasts:

1)  The Canticle of the Creatures by Saint Francis of Assisi

Most High, all powerful, good Lord,
Yours are the praises, the glory, the honor, and all blessing.

To You alone, Most High, do they belong,
and no man is worthy to mention Your name.

Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures,
especially through my lord Brother Sun, who brings the day; and you give light through him.
And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor!
Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
in heaven you formed them clear and precious and beautiful.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Wind, and through the air, cloudy and serene,
and every kind of weather through which You give sustenance to Your creatures.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water,
which is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom you light the night and he is beautiful
and playful and robust and strong.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Mother Earth,
who sustains us and governs us and who produces
varied fruits with colored flowers and herbs.

Praised be You, my Lord,
through those who give pardon for Your love, and bear infirmity and tribulation.

Blessed are those who endure in peace for by You, Most High, they shall be crowned.

Praised be You, my Lord,
through our Sister Bodily Death, from whom no living man can escape.

Woe to those who die in mortal sin.
Blessed are those whom death will find in Your most holy will,
for the second death shall do them no harm.

Praise and bless my Lord,
and give Him thanks
and serve Him with great humility.

2)  A Paean of Praise for Animals

O Lord, what a variety of things you have made!
    In wisdom you have made them all.
    The earth is full of your creatures.
Here is the ocean, vast and wide,
    teeming with life of every kind,
    both large and small….
They all depend on you
    to give them food as they need it.
When you supply it, they gather it.
    You open your hand to feed them,
    and they are richly satisfied….
When you give them your breath, life is created,
    and you renew the face of the earth.
May the glory of the Lord continue forever!
    The Lord takes pleasure in all he has made! (Psalm 67:24-25, 27-28, 30-31, NLT).

3)  A Blessing for a Beloved Animal

Blessed are you, Lord God,
who made every living thing with which the water teems,
and every winged bird,
the livestock,
the creatures that move along the ground,
and the wild animals,
and called it all “good.”
Thank you for this animal,
for its life that comes from you,
and for the love and joy it brings.
Please bless this creature
and let our loving care for him/her be a reflection of your loving nature.
We praise you for all your beauty in creation, and especially for this expression of your love.
Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures! Amen. (Bob Hostetler)

4)  Prayer for a Sick Animal

Merciful God,
you created all things for your glory
and have graciously allowed us this animal to love.
Please look kindly on him and restore him to health and strength.
Please deliver her from fear and pain,
and grant us wisdom in our care for her,
in the name of Jesus, amen. (Bob Hostetler)

5)  Prayer for Animals in Need

Lord God,
you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power.
You created all things for your glory,
yet there are those in your Creation who languish in pain and suffering.
Please look kindly upon those animals who are in need this day,
whether they are in the wild, on the streets, in captivity, or elsewhere.
Deliver those who are hurt, abused, hungry, and forgotten.
Please grant that they may be treated with the loving care and respect all your Creation deserves,
in the name of Jesus, amen. (Bob Hostetler)

The Feast of Saint Francis is not the only day we can give thanks and pray for our pets and other animals, of course. And these prayers are intended as a mere beginning. 

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