Pets, owners blessed on St. Francis of Assisi feast

By: Ador Vincent S. Mayol October 04,2017 - 09:08 PM

Fr. Erik Orio blesses pets and their owners who joined the Mass for Creation held at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, Wednesday afternoon.
/CDN Photo/Junjie Mendoza

His love affair with dogs began when he was seven years old.

Now at age 63, the owner of STK ta Bai restaurant in Barangay Capitol Site nurtures 14 dogs of different breeds.

“I just love them. They are but part of my family,” said businessman Jerry Alcover.

Accompanied by his youngest daughter Gretchen, Alcover brought seven of his dogs to the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral in downtown Cebu City on Wednesday afternoon to be blessed by a priest.

“If houses are blessed, how much more these animals? They are living things. Hence, it is so important to have them blessed,” Alcover told Cebu Daily News.

At least 200 people, some of whom brought dogs, joined the 4 p.m. Mass for Creation held at the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes outside the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral in celebration of the feast of St. Francis of Assisi — the patron for ecology.

St. Francis was an Italian monk from the 12th century who was known for his love of the environment and animals.

Various parishes in the country continue the legacy of the saint with ministries and activities that protect both people and the environment.

In his homily, Fr. Erik Orio stressed the need to thank God for the gift of creation and to be responsible stewards of His divine handiwork.

“Creation is a wonderful gift from God. May we see the beauty of God’s work and take care of everything He made,” he said.

“Everything God created is good, but look around you and see what has happened to our world today. When we experience floods, let us also ponder on how many of us leave their trashes even in churches and throw them on the streets,” Orio added.

Orio reminded the faithful to take care of creation since they are part of it.

“Yes we are stewards of creation. But we are also one with nature because we are primarily part of it,” he said.

After the Mass, Orio sprinkled holy water on the pets and their owners.

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TAGS: assisi, blessed, feast, frnacis, owners, pets, St

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