Saint Francis was born in the town of Assisi in Italy in 1182. At the age of 20 he devoted himself to a life of prayer. Three years later, Francis embraced a life of poverty and dedicated himself to God.
Francis was a lover of nature. He took long walks through the countryside and studied its plants and trees. Francis felt that all plants and animals were part of God?s kingdom.
Saint Francis is the founder of the Franciscan religious order. He is the patron saint of those who care for plants and animals.
His feast day is celebrated on October 4.
Blessing of the Animals celebrations are held on October 4, the feast of Saint Francis, all over the United States. They are often held outdoors. A priest blesses each pet by praying a special prayer and sprinkling the pet with holy water.