SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Pet-loving families today took their dogs to a “blessing of the animals” service at Mercy Medical Center in Springfield. Mercy’s spiritual care clergy conducted the service which dates back to the time of St. Francis of Assisi.
Mark Ricziardone’s dogs are up to date on their shots and pills, but he considers this blessing an extra layer of protection. “Both of these dogs are ten years old,” he explained, “I just figured it would be a good idea to get them blessed, help them hold up and they’ll continue to live a long time.”
Jannine Anderson, who brought her pet from Chicopee, told 22News that “A little guardian angel watches over her and we’d like to keep her as long as we can so this is what we’re looking for.”
Since October is when the faithful observe the feast of St. Francis, it’s not uncommon for a number of western Massachusetts churches to conduct a “blessing of the animals.”