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Like the pope's namesake, Mumbai priest blesses pets

Oct. 7, 2013

Dogs, cats , turtles and parrots of various species were are among the pets who yesterday received the special blessing of Fr Joseph D' Souza, parish priest at St Pius X Catholic Church in Mulund, Mumbai. The clergyman started the tradition 13 years ago in order to commemorate the love of St Francis of Assisi had for all creatures. Altogether this year, he blessed 25 dogs, four Persian cats, eight turtles, eight cages of lovebirds, cockatoos four and eight parrots.

"This year," the priest told AsiaNews, "people were even more excited than usual because of Pope Francis, who chose to take the name of Saint Francis of Assisi." Even non-Christians like the special ceremony. "Many people of other religions bring their puppies [for the blessing]," Fr D' Souza said.

"They tell me that this blessing represents a bit the beauty of the Catholic Church, which not only allows animals into a sacred place, but also blesses them. This love for other creatures is a way of saying that they too are created by God."

Source: AsiaNews.it



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