Old North Church, with attendance from RUFF North End dog group, hosted their annual Blessing of the Animals on Sunday afternoon in honor of St. Francis Day.

Dozens of pets, accompanied by their humans, congregated on the Prado to receive individual blessings from Rev. Ellie Terry and Rev. Stephen Ayres of Old North Church. A prayer was held for those with deceased pets and scriptures were read to commemorate St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.

Fall having finally fell in Boston, the weather was pleasant as the furry North End residents received their blessings for continuing health and happiness. Those who attended without their pets were encouraged to receive blessings for their loved ones back home.

Much of the writings about St. Francis of Assisi often tell of his deep connection to all of God’s creations and it is believed that he was able to communicate with animals. One story recounts Francis preaching to birds who listened to him intently and flew away only when he told them they could leave. One famous story involves a wolf who was terrorizing a village and St. Francis convinced the wolf to stop killing.

See additional photos of the event graciously submitted by North End community members below!

Above photos submitted by Lisa Ayres.

Above photos submitted by Frankie Boyer.

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