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Animals in Church History

Return to St. Francis Page

St. Francis of Assisi with Bird

Animals in Church History

A Collection of Interesting Church-Related Animal Facts

Sources: Various

Important Notice: We make no guarantee regarding any item herein. All applicable items are subject to change. Information and listings herein are not comprehensive and may include details that are unverifiable, disputed, based on legends, etc. We do not guarantee the accuracy of any item herein. By using this site you agree to all terms. For more terms information, click here


Click link below or scroll down to view all:

Animals in Catholic Art

Christopher Columbus & the Birds

The Holy Trinity / Animals

Important Dates for Animal Lovers

Patron Saints / Animals

Pets of the Popes & Saints

Protection of Saints by Animals in Martyrdom & Death

Roman Churches that May Admit Animals on Certain Days

Saints & Animals

Animals in Church History / Misc.

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Animals in Catholic Art

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Christopher Columbus & the Birds

Based on migratory birds, Christopher Columbus (whose motto was 'Jesus cum Maria, sit nobis in via') decided to alter his course. Had he not done so, his miscalculations would have brought him to inhospitable lands rather than his landing in San Salvador on October 12, 1492. 

The Holy Trinity / Animals

God created the animals, blessed them, and called them good.

Christ was born in a manger (and the Holy Family is believed to have been there in the company of an ox and an ass).

Christ entered Jerusalem on a colt.

The Holy Spirit appeared as a dove.

Christ calls himself the Good Shepherd.

Christ often teaches using analogy of animals (sheep, goats, etc.).

Christ is often called the Lamb of God (a symbolic reference).

A symbol of a fish is used to represent Christ [refers to Greek word for fish (icthus, which are the initials of "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior" in Greek)].

Christ is sometimes symbolically referred to as the Lion (the Lion of the tribe of Judah).

Animals are mentioned frequently in Holy Scripture, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (click here for Scripture for Animal Lovers).

Important Dates for Animal Lovers

Important Dates for Animal Lovers Include:

October 4 - Feast Day, St. Francis of Assisi, Patron Saint of Animals.

January 17 (or Sunday nearest) - Annual blessing of the animals in Rome at Saint Eusebius ("the event has become so popular that the people and animals can no longer fit inside the church, forcing the benediction to occur outside Piazza Vittorio").

Various (esp. Sept./Oct.) - Contact your diocese for dates for animal blessings. Note that dioceses may have animal blessings scheduled annually. Pet blessings may occur with holy water and prayer. All types of animals may be welcomed (cats, dogs, fish, birds, hamsters, guinea pigs, farm animals, etc.). Contact the appropriate diocese for details.

Note: Dates may vary and are subject to change.

Patron Saints / Animals

Click Here for 'Patron Saints / Animals'

Pets of the Popes & Saints

Click Here for 'Pets of the Popes & Saints'

Protection of Saints by Animals in Martyrdom & Death

Click Here for 'Protection of Saints by Animals in Martyrdom & Death'

Roman Churches that May Admit Animals on Certain Days

Sant' Eusebio (Piazza Vittorio) - Annual Animal Blessing (see above

San Giovanni dei Fiorentini (St. John of the Florentines) - "The only church in Rome where animals are always welcomed." (The animal loving pastor there, Monsignor Canciani, is said to have stated that "all God's creatures have the right to approach their Creator".) 

Note: Above information is subject to change.

   

IMPORTANT REMINDER: 

One must always behave appropriately in the house of God. As St. James instructs: "Let all mortal flesh be silent, standing there...in fear and trembling; for the King of kings, the Lord of lords, Christ our God is about to be sacrificed and to be given as food to the faithful." We should also remember St. John Vianney's question: "When you hear Mass, do you come in the same frame of mind as the Blessed Virgin at Calvary? Because it is the same God, and the same Sacrifice." One should never participate in any actions or behavior which are incompatible with the fear and respect due the Lord God, especially in His house - and especially during the holiest and most sacred action in the world (the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass). Note: For more on 'proper church behavior', click here.

  

Saints & Animals 

Click Here for 'Saints & Animals'

Animals in Church History / Misc.

* A dove is said to have brought a vial containing chrism used to anoint the French kings.

* A dog is the symbol for the Dominican order (referring to "Domini canes" or "hounds of the Lord").

* Italy is said to be a "world leader in animal rights law".

Know of an item appropriate for this page which is not listed above? Please tell us! Click here for submission terms and instructions. 

Top | Animals (Reflections) | St. Francis Section


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Animals / Creatures (Reflections)

More Reflections: Alphabetical | Categorized

Scripture for Animal Lovers

Topical Scripture: Alphabetical | Categorized

More Scripture / Parables

Saints Section

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The above is provided for informational purposes only and is not comprehensive. We make no guarantees regarding any item above. By using this site you indicate agreement to all terms. For terms information, see "Important Notice" above and click here.

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* Animals / Pets (Topic Page)

* Saints (Topic Page)

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