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Pet blessings are on the rise and happening in record numbers according to author and blessing of the animals expert, Diana L Guerrero. The author of BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS shares little know facts about the day when thousands of animals will gather at churches around the world in celebration of World Animal Day and the Feast Day of St Francis.
On October 4th creatures that slither, swim, walk, or fly will gather together to form peaceable kingdoms in locations across the world. It isn’t some mass foray but an annual celebration known to some as the Feast Day of St Francis and to others as World Animal Day.
“Today more than 63% of households in America have pets and so pet blessings are on the rise. A large percentage of them take place in late September and early October due to celebrations of St Francis and World Animal Day--and this trend will continue to escalate.” according to Diana L Guerrero.
Guerrero is a pet blessing expert and author of BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS: A GUIDE TO PRAYERS & CEREMONIES CELEBRATING PETS AND OTHER CREATURES (ISBN 1402729677) a new book that explores the long traditions of pet blessings and contemporary trends such as pet parties and pet memorials.
Diana said, "All faith ceremonies and other gatherings celebrate this day. Anecdotal accounts about animal blessings surface frequently, going back to the 4th Century, but actual documentation is scarce. World Animal Day, originally established in 1931, was conceived by a group of ecologists as a way to highlight the plight of endangered species, but it wasn’t until 2003 when it became a worldwide celebration of animal life of all types."
During her work on BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS Guerrero interviewed many spiritual leaders about their animal blessings and discovered that animals catalyze people to cross religious lines to find common ground and that contemporary ceremonies have become mainstream staples of the metro pet crowd.
Pet showers and parties, pet eulogies, yappy hours, pet pageants, howl-o-ween, and many other animal events are on the rise but the celebrations attracting the most animals and pet parents are the blessing of the animals events.
“Blessings are a way to honor animals and the roles they have in our lives. In some areas the blessings still ask for health and fertility of working animals but today most pet owners celebrate the love and companionship they get from their animals.”
St. Francis is known as the patron saint of animals and the environment (ecology) and was the founder of the Catholic Franciscan Order. St. Francis believed that all God’s creations reveal something about the nature of God and God’s love.
“On the Feast Day of St Francis churches across the globe celebrate with blessing of the animals. Here in the United States blessings take place from San Francisco to New York.”
The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City attracts thousands of people and animals to its animal friendly service which makes the largest blessing of the animals in the United States. The Holy Eucharist & Procession of Animals takes place from late morning until early afternoon but participants arrive hours before services begin.
“Blessing events are usually peaceable kingdoms." Guerrero continued, "Sometimes animals are restless, but most cooperate. That is because they have a list of commandments: Thou shall come when called, Thou shall behave in public..."
If you are interested in the other commandments Guerrero included ten in BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS: A GUIDE TO PRAYERS & CEREMONIES CELEBRATING PETS & OTHER CREATURES (ISBN 1402729677). The book is available at booksellers in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom or online at amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com.
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Diana L Guerrero
Blessing of the Animals (ISBN 1402729677)
ABOUT: BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS is an animal lover’s collection of anecdotes, prayers, and ceremonies for pets and an exploration of animal blessing traditions. The book is a mix of historical fact, fun, quirky descriptions, heartfelt sentiments, and novel ceremonies. Readers will discover contemporary celebrations such as meow mixers, pet mitzvahs, and pet nuptials and learn about the pet party craze, beastly beauty pageants, and the real party animals who show up at yappy hours and seasonal galas.
Review copies of BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS: A GUIDE TO PRAYERS & CEREMONIES CELEBRATING PETS AND OTHER CREATURES (ISBN 1402729677) are available to reviewers and journalists. Contact Krista Margies at Sterling Publishing (212) 532-7160 or email: publicity. sterlingpub.com