Orland area animal-lovers brought their best furry friends to St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church last Saturday for a traditional blessing.
Blessing of the Pets, a centuries-old tradition, is celebrated at many area churches during the first week of October to honor the feast day of St Francis, the patron saint of animals.
“Many people have a great love for their pets, and consider them as part of the family. Participating in the blessing ceremony is their wish to keep their pets safe and healthy,” said Father John Zurek, associate pastor at St Francis.
Homer Glen residents Mike and Lilly Mazeika agree. They quickly developed a deep bond with Chico de Blanco, a one-year-old Chihuahua rescued from TLC Animal Shelter last year.
“Chico gets us going every day. He’s changed our lives for the better,” said Lilly. “It’s up to us to keep him as healthy as possible.”