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Church Blesses Beloved Pets

Massapequa pets of all sizes and species gathered at a local church to receive their blessings.

Poppit the lizard peered out from under his blanket and surveyed the scene, his long yellow tail quivering with delight. There was Sprinkles the chihuahua wearing her finest spotted vest along with her mom Cupcake and her cousin Lola. Speedy the turtle nodded to Sugar the hamster. Daisy the bunny twitched her nose with excitement while Cosmo wearing a halo greeted Chloe the cat whose deep blue eyes stared at all of the dogs around her. Today was their big day. Everyone was on their best behavior, even the humans, as the priests from St. Rose of Lima, Pastor Zach, Father Fortunato and Father Khoa raised their hands to give the blessing of the animals in honor of St. Francis of Assisi.

Hundreds of people showed up from all parts of Long Island with their pets, many which were rescued. In his blessing Father Zach discussed the importance of animals.     

“We honor our pets, they are not only our friends but our companions and in turn they give us love, care and a sense of companionship,” he said. “Who give us joy and laughter through their playfulness, who in our loneliness have given us companionship and to entrust us with their proper care and protection.”

He prayed for the animals that were sick, mistreated, lost and overworked and for those that work with animals, “to have hearts of compassion, gentle hands and kind words.”

After the blessing the priests fanned out among the audience to give individual blessings and handed out cards to remember the event. As one woman said, “Now I have proof that he was blessed.”

Yvonne Dagger, president of Canine Companions for Independence, was there with her dogs Ya Ya, a certified therapy dog and Dagger, who is a puppy in training.

“It’s a nice way for the community to get together and honor St. Francis of Assisi and to see all of these wonderful pets and how much people love them and how much they mean in people’s lives,” she said. “They are so therapeutic. I like the blessing and I have a firm belief in the saints and I think St. Francis is here today.”

Aileen Kornbluth who comes every year had her puppy mill rescues Cupcake, Sprinkles, and Lola.

“I like to get them blessed every year and I tease them that they are little demons so they need a blessing,” she said.