Blessed be the Basset Hounds

Happy Feast of Saint Francis Day!

This is the day we celebrate the patron saint of puppies, piranhas, and pigeons (and every other winged, four and multi-footed creature!). In honor of the day I offer you this lovely poem, penned by Jan Richardson (, written "in gratitude for the animals who have graced her life." So grab the closest pet at hand (or if you have no cats or dogs underfoot, go outside and look up into the bird-dotted sky) and celebrate this blessing.

Blessing the Animals

You who created them

and called them good:

bless again these creatures

who come to us

as a blessing

fashioned of fur

or feather

or fin,

formed of flesh

that breathes with

your own breath,

that you have made

from sheer delight,

that you have given

in dazzling variety.

Bless them

who curl themselves

around our hearts

who twine themselves

through our days

who companion us

in our labor

who call us

to come and play.

Bless them

who will never be

entirely tamed

and so remind us

that you love

what is wild,

that you rejoice

in what lives close

to the earth,

that your heart beats

in the heart of these creatures

you have entrusted

to our care.
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