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School hosts blessing of the animals - Odessa American: Religion

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School hosts blessing of the animals

Lesson also teaches about St. Francis of Assisi

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Posted: Friday, October 5, 2012 5:26 pm

Friday morning’s dark clouds and misty weather conditions weren’t enough to bother Flash, the miniature horse.

As students from St. John’s Episcopal School came up to pet the brown horse, Flash stood still and remained well behaved, even when it was his turn to be blessed during the school’s annual Blessing of the Animals.

Amanda and Jason Wight said this was the third Blessing of the Animals event they have been to, and were there for their daughter Bailey Wight, a first-grader.

With no trouble loading Flash and bringing him to the school, Amanda Wight said they originally though about bringing their dog, but said he had not yet had a bath.

“Plus, he’s (Flash) is better behaved than the dog,” Amanda Wight said.

Larue Moore, principal of St. John’s, said the school holds the blessing of the animals on St. Francis of Assisi Day. St. Francis of Assisi is known as the Catholic patron saint of animals. Taking the place of their daily church service, Moore said the blessing of the animals also is a lesson about St. Francis.

“We’re trying to tell the children these animals depend on them,” Moore said.

After a short prayer, the Rev. Les Jackson went around blessing each animal individually, which was a mixture of dogs, cats, lizards, a snake and even a donkey named Pedro. For younger students who did not have a live animal, Jackson even blessed stuffed animals.

Moore said the children have a great time at the event and it’s usually well received by the parents.

“It’s just fun,” Moore said.

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