Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tender Affection

"[Francis] was moved by the same tender affection toward fish, too, when they were caught, and he had the chance, he threw them back into the water, commanding them to be careful lest they be caught again. Once when he was sitting in a boat near a port in the lake of Rieti, a certain fisherman, who had caught a big fish ... offered it kindly to him. He accepted it joyfully and kindly and began to call it brother; then placing it in the water outside the boat, he began devoutly to bless the name of the Lord. And while he continued in prayer for some time, the fish played in the water beside the boat and did not go away from the place where it had been put until his prayer was finished and the holy man of God gave it permission to leave."
--Thomas of Celano

(As found in We Thank You, God, for These: Blessings and Prayers for Family Pets, by Anthony F. Chiffolo and Rayner W. Hesse, Jr.)