Blessing pets becomes more prevalent

The idea of animals engaging in religious life is gaining popularity among pet owners and as an area of study in some universities. This month, as many as 500 pet blessings are set to take place in churches nationwide to commemorate the feast of animal patron saint St. Francis of Assisi. "We believe that ... honoring and loving animals is a reflection of how we thank God for all good gifts in creation," one rector said.

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