St Francis & Blessing the Animals – Prayers, Litanies and Other Resources.

by Christine Sine

St Francis Feast Day is October 4th and many churches including ours, are getting ready for a blessing of the animals. I love being about to take our Bonnie dog to church and have her blessed and I know that this practice is growing in popularity. Each year, I post resources for both blessing the animals and for St Francis day so this year I thought I would combine them as many of us associate the two together.

Here are some of my favourite St Francis Prayers:

This prayer commonly associated with St Francis was not actually written by him as Daniel Horan explains in Living the Prayer of St Francis With All Creation but is still a good reminder of all he stood for.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Or you may prefer this form to meditate on:

I particularly love this rendition written for International Women’s Day a couple of years ago: A Franciscan Prayer for International Women’s Day

Prayer for St Francis’ Feast

Francis, the destitute and lowly, enters heaven a rich man, acclaimed by the songs of angels!

Lord God, you made Saint Francis of Assisi
Christ-like in his poverty and humility.
Help us so to walk in his ways that,
with joy and love,
we may follow Christ your Son,
and be united to you.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Francis, the destitute and lowly, enters heaven a rich man, acclaimed by the songs of angels!

The Praises of God

Lord God:
you alone are holy,
you who work wonders!
You are strong, you are great,
you are the Most High,
you are the almighty King,
you, holy Father, King of heaven and earth.

Lord God: you are Three and you are One,
you are goodness, all goodness,
you are the highest Good,
Lord God, living and true.

You are love and charity, you are wisdom,
you are humility, you are patience,
you are beauty, you are sweetness,
you are safety, you are rest, you are joy,
you are our hope
and our delight,
you are justice, you are moderation
you are all our wealth
and riches overflowing.

You are beauty, you are gentleness,
you are our shelter, our guard
and our defender,
you are strength, you are refreshment,
you are our hope.
you are our faith.
you are our love,
you are our complete consolation,
you are our life everlasting,
great and wonderful Lord,
all powerful God, merciful Savior!


And for those who might like to read more prayers and what I have written in previous years for St Francis day.

Blessing of The Animals 

StFrancisOfAssisi_3This began as a Catholic celebration associated with St Francis of Assisi, but has become extremely popular for people of many traditions in the last few years. We are discovering more and more the benefits of pets in our lives and society so blessing them at church, in the synagogue or even in our animal oriented institutions, is not just a fun thing to do it is acknowledging their importance to both us and God.

Last year I wrote this post: God bless the animals which reflects on that and highlights some of the organizations that work with animals. In 2011, I highlighted the work of Episcopal Relief and Development and their free resource from which the liturgy I posted was drawn.

Here are some other good resources I have found for litanies on blessing animals:

Do you know of other resources that we should add? Please comment below.

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Jim Bresky October 4, 2014 - 7:52 am

Thanks for offering the prayers of this wonderful saint for all of us to enjoy! God’s peace and blessings!
Jim Bresky

Christine Sine October 4, 2014 - 8:14 am

Your welcome Jim I am glad that you enjoyed them

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