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Prayers for Pets: Blessing of the Animals Events This Weekend

A dog at last year's Long Beach blessing (Photo by Carolyn Hampton via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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This weekend there will be several places offering free blessings for your animals as part of an annual Catholic tradition done in honor of St. Francis of Assisi.As part of the Feast of St. Francis on October 4th, every year Catholic churches invite the public to bring their furry or feathered friends by to receive a blessing. "At Franciscan churches, a friar with brown robe and white cord often welcomes each animal with a special prayer," explains the American Catholic. This is a special bonding day for pets and their owners, and also an amusing sight for those who see the line of people holding snakes, cats, roosters, and hamsters outside the church doors. (For more of a colorful spectacle, hang on until springtime, when Olvera Street hosts their annual Blessing of the Animals.)

Here's where you'll find some of this weekend's Blessing of the Animals:
- South Bay
- Pasadena
- Santa Monica
- Huntington Beach

However, if Catholicism isn't your (doggy's) bag, you'll want to head to Long Beach for the world's largest interfaith blessing of the animals as put on by Justin Rudd and Haute Dogs. "Seniors, families, singles, and children, are encouraged to bring their dogs, cats, birds, lizards, rabbits, pot-bellied pigs, fish, tortoises and turtles and other well-behaved pets." More info on the event available on Facebook.