Area animals honored at Villa St. Joseph’s blessing of the pets

LA CROSSE (WKBT) — It was a celebration of creation at Villa St. Joseph Sunday afternoon.

Pets of all shapes and sizes were invited to be blessed by the Rev. Conrad Targonski. This celebration is in honor of the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, who saw God in all creation.

“I think it’s significant to all of us. Anybody that cares about animals– they have a right to be blessed just like the rest of creation. They are a blessing to us, and a blessing to everyone else who is here,” said Sister Lucy Slinger, a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration.

Mostly dogs were brought this year, but Slinger says they’ve seen a wide range of animals in the past– including turtles and ponies.

The blessing of the pets is a tradition that dates back to the 13th century.

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