Monday, June 23, 2008

Prayers to the Saints for Our Pets

Dearest Saint Francis, inspire us to see God's fingerprints in all of creation, especially in the animals with which we share our world. Teach us how to talk with the birds as you did, to coexist with wolves, to treat fish with kindness, to comfort rabbits--to be people of peace in relation to all of God's creatures. Instill in us your extravagant love of every living thing. Amen.

We call upon you, most blessed Saint Anthony, patron of domestic animals, to bless our pets this day. Protect them from injury, preserve them from illness, and help us provide all that they need. But more than that, inspire us to love them as they love us--unconditionally, unwaveringly, and always. Amen.

O Saint Hippolytus, we thank you for keeping our pets in your care. Please continue to bless them, we pray, that they might remain healthy and vigorous for all the years to come. Amen.

Mildest Saint Mildburga, like Saint Francis who communed with the birds, you had a special connection with our winged companions. So we ask you to watch over our feathered friends, especially all of this season's newly hatched chicks. Bless them with health of body and strength of spirit, that they may grow joyful in proclaiming God's love to all creation. Amen.

O sweet Saint Gall, patron of the birds of the air, bless these newborn creatures that have been entrusted to our care. Ask God to give them health and strength and length of days, and give us wisdom to provide for them in every way. Teach us to be patient with their youthful energy, and show us how to cherish them with love eternally. Amen.

O holy Saint Roch, in remembrance of the dog who helped you recover from your own illness, we implore your blessing upon our dear ____. Send your spirit of healing to this sick animal, and ask our Creator to cure ____ so that we may once again delight together in the joy that God has placed in our hearts. Amen.

We invoke your name, most blessed Saint Dwyn, for the healing of this sick creature. Your intercession has already brought about the cures of countless animals, so we ask for your prayers on behalf of our beloved ____, who is precious to us. Bless ____ and ask God to take away her/his malady and restore her/him to full health. O dear saint, please keep ____ under your watchful eye. Amen.

O God, my heart is sad because ____, my ____, is sick and nothing can be done to heal her/him. ____ has been with me for so long, and now she/he will be leaving me--and taking part of my heart with her/him. I ache already from the emptiness ____'s death will create in my life. But more than that, I cry because ____ is in pain. Please, God, don't let her/him suffer. Help me to show ____ that I love her/him, to comfort her/him when death comes, to be ____'s companion until the very end. And when the unfortunate inevitable comes to pass, to remember ____ with love and keep her/his memory with me forever. Amen.

O Saints Gall and Mildburga, pray for our feathered friends.
O Saint Roch, pray for our canine friends.
O Saints George, Martin, and Stephen, pray for our equine friends.
O Saint Anthony, pray for our feline and rodent friends.
O Saint Francis, pray for all our animal friends.
O holy saints of God, pray for us, that we may be loving companions to our animal friends. Amen.

(These prayers/poems are from We Thank You, God, for These: Blessings and Prayers for Family Pets by Anthony F. Chiffolo and Rayner W. Hesse, Jr. Available from Paulist Press.)

1 comment:

Liz said...

I had no idea there were so many prayers for pets. How inspiring. I'd been looking for comfort, as I have recently had to put our cat, Lia, down. She was a fabulous companion to my children and to us. A big help was a book by an author who wrote her own memoir about her cat, Tatianna.

What an inspiration. Not too often does a book centered around one specific animal have such a positive impact on the reader as this book does and will, for those who read it. Nor do many memoirs radiate the intense compassion for not just that one creature, but for all life. Anyone who has lost a pet will love this book.