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St. Philip’s Episcopal Church celebrates animals with blessing

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St. Philip’s motto, “All are welcome,” takes on new meaning as the church invites people and their pets for a special St. Francis Day blessing at noon Saturday, Oct. 9, on the labyrinth outside the church.
St. Philip’s Episcopal Church (stphilipsnewhope.org) is located at 10 Chapel Road, New Hope (Solebury Township).
In past years, the Rev. Michael Ruk, rector of St. Philip’s, has blessed dogs, cats, horses, chickens and even a tarantula.
People may also bring photos of deceased pets they want blessed.
The ritual dates to medieval times when Francis of Assisi, an Italian friar, wandered the Umbrian countryside with a message of simplicity and love for all of God’s creation. Today, St. Francis is considered the patron saint of the environment as well as animals.
The event is free and open to the public.

The blessing itself takes only a moment and all will receive a blessed St. Francis collar medal.
To participate, simply bring your animal companion on a leash, a picture, or whatever is appropriate for his or her safety and comfort.
Participants are asked to adhere to all health protocols.
For information about St. Philip’s, contact Ruk at 215-897-3050 or michael@stphilipsnewhope.org.


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