Franciscans from around the world celebrate both the Transitus of St. Francis of Assisi (on October 3rd) and his Feast Day (on October 4th). For Franciscans, Transitus marks the night Francis left his earthly life, to move onto a life in heaven with Our Lord Jesus. He died, on the evening of October 3, 1226, a small man in his forties who had wanted to live a simple life in service to God. Traditionally Saints’ Feast Days mark the date of death and are remembered with special mention, prayers, and scripture readings. For us, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi on October 4th is so much more. It is a day filled with celebration and joy. We mark the days surrounding the Feast Day with the blessing of animals, gathering for meals and enjoying the fellowship of our brothers and those we serve. Just as with all of the saints, it is the day Francis obtained Eternal Life.
Starting on the weekend before the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, several friars from throughout our province began this year’s traditional Blessing of Animals; a simple act that helps us share the charism of St. Francis by blessing these special “companions” of those we serve. It is always a source of great joy for our friars in our varied ministries.
As ministries send in photos from the Blessings, we will share them here for all to enjoy.
Blessed Sacrament School, Burlington, NC
The school families gathered to have their animals of all sizes (living and stuffed) blessed by Fr. Paul Lininger, OFM Conv., pastor of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Community.
The Franciscan Church of the Assumption, Syracuse, NY
St. Paul Catholic Church, Kensington, CT