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Animals in Church History (Saints & Animals)

Return to Animals in Church History | St. Francis Section

St. Francis of Assisi with Bird

Animals in Church History:

Saints & Animals

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

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Saints & Animals



Saints & Animals 

(may also include Blesseds)

Note: For Animals that assisted in the Old Testament, try 'Scripture For Animal Lovers'

St. Ambrose - While still an infant, a swarm of bees was believed to foreshadow the future greatness of the saint.

St. Anselm - Protected a hare, was obeyed by dogs.

St. Anthony - Preached to the fishes when the heretics wouldn't listen ("the very fishes of the sea took up thy defense; for they came swimming in shoals, before the eyes of the whole city, to listen to thy preaching which heretics had scorned"). A very hungry mule venerated the Blessed Sacrament rather than eat its own food, in proof of St. Anthony's teaching.

St. Anthony Abbot - A pig is said to have followed him everywhere after the saint cured the pig of a serious disease.

St. Benedict of Nursia - Assisted by a raven.

St. Bernard of Montjoux - Along with other monks, he assisted distressed travelers aided by a dog.

St. Blaise - Healed animals (who came to the saint on their own for his assistance).

St. Brigid - Loved animals, gave sanctuary to a wild boar, turned a fox into a loving pet for the king, was kind to dogs, was followed by a cow.

St. Clement - Saw a mysterious lamb on a mountain scraping the earth with its hooves, which marked the spot where a miraculous fountain of water was to spring from a rock.

St. Colette - Known to have "an appreciation and care for animals". Had a pet lamb that accompanied her to church. Said to have understood the communications of birds.

St. Colum - May be associated with care of a crane.

St. Daria - When dragged to a place of infamy, she was protected by a lion, in answer to her prayer.

St. Eustace - Converted after seeing a stag with a cross on its head.

Pope St. Fabian - A dove unexpectedly appeared and landed on his head during the papal election. It was taken as a miraculous sign and the formerly unknown layman was chosen pope.

St. Francis Jerome - Oxen and horses knelt during his preaching.

St. Francis of Assisi - Regularly invoked all creatures to praise and love their Creator; Called other creatures of God his Brothers and Sisters; Tamed a savage wolf by speaking to it [he made a pact with the wolf not to harm the townspeople in exchange for food and the wolf even offered its paw as a sign of its acceptance of the pact - afterwards it became docile ("meek as a lamb")]; Quieted a flock of birds; Preached to the birds (they were a good audience and left only after he said they could); Was careful not to step on an ant; Obeyed by fish, birds, and other animals; Rescued animals; Interceded with the emperor for birds; Sought to have laws enacted to provide a "bounteous meal" for all animals on Christmas Day (he even wanted people to put out food along the roads and walls for the animals at Christmas). Animals followed and obeyed him and were said to "instinctively surround" him. They became so attached to St. Francis they would repeatedly hop into his lap. At least one rabbit would not leave him.  Note: Also see St. Francis Section Reflections

St. Francis of Paola - Resurrected his pet trout, his pet lamb, and another fish.

Bl. Francisco & Bl. Jacinta (Fatima Visionaries) - Both children are said to have loved animals. It is said that Bl. Jacinta loved the sheep she tended and would carry the newborns to prevent them from getting tired. She is also said to have often held, kissed, and petted the sheep.

St. Gall - A bear has been called his friend, the bear supplied him with wood.

St. Gerard Majella - Had the ability to communicate with animals.

St. Giles - Survived on milk from a tame doe while in the forest.

St. Guy - See St. Vitus

St. Hilarion - By his blessing, "horses seemed to fly".

St. Hubert - A mysterious stag revealed Christ to him.

St. Hugh of Lincoln - Had a friendship with a swan, was protected by a swan while he slept.

St. Ignatius Loyola - His mule took him on the road that led to the pilgrimage place of Our Lady of Montserrat, where the saint vowed a life of penance and devotion to God (rather than continuing to peruse a person he was contemplating murdering). 

St. Isidore the Farmer - Compassionately shared his food with hungry birds.

St. Jerome - Helped an injured lion and afterwards it is said that the lion never left his side

Pope St. John - It is said that the horse he rode would never afterwards bear any other rider.

St. John Bosco - Was frequently protected by a mysterious dog (called "Grigio").

St. Joseph of Cupertino - Spoke with animals, resurrected a flock of sheep.

St. Kevin of Glendalough - While in prayer, a blackbird laid an egg in his hand. In order to protect the egg, he 'remained motionless' until it hatched.

St. Macarius - Miraculously helped a hyena's whelp.

St. Madeleine Sophie Barat - A dog that others couldn't manage made friends with her and sought her out to be petted.

St. Mamas - Preached to animals, was protected by a lion.

St. Margaret of Cortona - A dog was instrumental in an event leading to her conversion.

St. Martin de Porres - Loved animals. Found a place for wandering cats and dogs. Was kind even to mice and rats. Resurrected a pet dog (gently reproving its owner for having 'put to sleep' the loyal companion).

St. Martin of Tours - Was obeyed by birds.

Bl. Mary Bartholomea de Bagnesi - Was said to be loved by cats.

St. Meinrad - His pet ravens brought his killers to justice.

St. Nicholas of Tolentino - Was a vegetarian who is credited with resurrecting a bird back to life.

St. Patrick - After being sold as a slave, he tended to flocks and is said to have taken good care of the animals even in harsh weather. Resurrected a horse.

St. Paul the First Hermit - Miraculously fed with bread brought to him daily by a raven. When he had company, the raven brought more food.

St. Philip Neri - Had an affection for creatures and had a pet cat.

St. Roch - Was brought food daily by a dog while he lay ill in a forest.

St. Sabas - Entered a lion's den to pray. The lion gently removed the saint by his clothing. After prayers, the saint spoke to the animal (telling it that the place was big enough for both of them) and the lion departed never to return again.

St. Sebastian - It is said that animals obeyed him and that he may have been especially assisted by oxen.

St. Simeon Stylite - Obeyed as a child by a young leopard (the child thought the leopard was a cat and a put a lead about its neck).

Pope St. Sylvester - Resurrected a bull and is a patron of domestic animals.

St. Veridiana - Shared her cell and her food with two snakes ("she fed them from her own meager rations").

St. Vitus (St. Guy) - It is said that "his beneficence is evinced to animals".

St. William - In retribution, he forced a wolf to work for the monastery.

St. Wulstan - He is credited with the cure of Edward I's favorite bird.

Also See: Saints Section

Know of a true animal story regarding an animal-loving Saint which is not listed above? Please tell us! Click here for submission terms and instructions. Note: Please submit only positive (favorable) animal stories involving Saints (or Blesseds) where neither human nor animal suffers any harm.

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