Wednesday, March 13, 2013

New Pope Takes the Name of the Patron of Animals!

I was fortunate enough to come home from a fun hiking trip with Apple to witness the live coverage of the election of the new Pope! I am a Catholic and I am very pleased so far with the new selection, as I prioritize love and compassion and respect for all people in my personal faith, and the new Pope is the first from Latin America, a very humble man who has been described as a "man of the poor."

While this might not seem related to dogs in any way, many newscasters have been pointing to his selection of a name--Francis I, as very telling of his humble and loving spirit.

St. Francis is best known as the Patron Saint of Animals. He called for "simplicity of life, poverty, and humility before God." He worked to care for the poor and lepers, who were outcast from society. He cared for the vulnerable in society, and that care was not limited to humans, but given to animals and nature as well. 

I think this quote speaks to St. Francis' love of all creatures:

"Not to hurt the creatures brethren is our first duty to them,
but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission -
to be of service to them wherever they require it."
Saint Francis

Many churches will hold blessings of animals on October 4, St. Francis' feast day. Apple got blessed at St. Ed's very first blessing of the animals in October!
Apple at the blessing ceremony
This is the first Pope to be from the "New World," the first from Latin America, and the first to ever take the name of the beloved patron of animals, St. Francis of Assisi.

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