All animals big and small are welcome for the annual blessing of furry and not so furry friends in celebration of the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi.

Because of St. Francis’ love of nature and especially animals, Catholic churches hold pet blessings around his feast day on Oct. 4.

Legend says that St. Francis, as he was traveling with some companions, came to a place where birds filled the trees on either side of the road. Francis told his fellow travelers “wait for me while I go to preach to my sisters the birds.” He was surrounded by the birds who were intrigued by the power of his voice, and not one bird flew away. In statues and icons he is often portrayed surrounded by animals.

  • On Oct. 2 the Lamar Catholic Student Center, 1010 E. Virginia, Beaumont, will have a pet blessing at 3 p.m. on the patio. All animals must have a leash or be in a kennel.

  • St. Charles Borromeo, 211 Hardy, Nederland, will be blessing pets Oct. 3 at 9 a.m. in the parking lot behind the church. All pets must be controlled by owners either by leashes or in cages.

  • On Oct. 3 at 11 a.m., St. Pius X, 5075 Bigner, Beaumont, will be blessing pets in front of the parish hall. All are welcome.

  • St. Francis of Assisi, 4300 Meeks, Orange, will be holding its pet blessing Oct. 4 at 1 p.m. as part of its parish picnic activities.

  • On Oct. 4, St. Henry, 475 W. Roundbunch Rd., Bridge City, will hold its pet blessing at 2 p.m. in the activities building meditation area.

  • Our Lady of Guadalupe, 3648 S/Sgt. Lucien Adams, Port Arthur, will be blessing pets Oct. 4 at 2 p.m. in front of the office. All are welcome.

  • On Oct. 7, Infant Jesus, 243 LHS, will be blessing pets at 6:30 p.m. in the courtyard next to the church. All pets must be on a leash or in a carrier. Pictures of pets that are too large to bring can be brought and blessed.

  • Holy Spirit Mission, 470 Monroe, Kountze, will be Oct. 7 at 6:30 p.m. All animals are welcome.