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A Real Dog Card

Forget about putting on your Sunday best. Starting this weekend you can get an animal blessing through the Internet with a new Pet Blessing e-card. A new e-card was announced this week by, web site of the Franciscan publisher St. Anthony Messenger Press in anticipation of the annual feast of St. Francis, October 4. The patron saint of animals, St. Francis of Assisi, is now being invoked by e-mail for pet blessings. Pet blessing ceremonies will be held at churches around the world this weekend. The e-cards allow people who can’t bring their pet to church a way to bless Fido at home. The e-card features a contemporary icon of St. Francis created by Albuquerque, N.M. artist Robert Lentz, and an animal blessing used by Franciscans worldwide. There is no charge for using the e-card. The e-card is part of a larger web feature that includes stories of St. Francis and the animals, and the fourth annual national listing of pet blessings. St. Francis, named patron of ecology by Pope John Paul II, lived in central Italy in the 12th century. His love of animals and all of creation has endeared him to people of many faiths over the centuries. The e-card and St. Francis feature can be found on the web at .

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