When we think of the miracle of holy water, we think of blessing ourselves, our homes, our families, and our most valued possessions. But what about our beloved pets and other animals in our surroundings?

Animals, like our loved ones, are our loving companions on Earth, and God resides in them as well. When we bless them with a sacrament like holy water, we guarantee them the same protection and grace that we receive, ensuring their health and well-being.

Although animals cannot speak, they are sentient beings who frequently require comfort and solace, which you can provide by blessing them with holy water. Here’s how animals can be blessed by holy water.

St. Francis’ Blessing

Blessing animals with holy water is not a new phenomenon. It can be traced back several centuries to the benign origins of St. Francis of Assisi, the Patron Saint of Animals. As a young boy in Assisi, Italy, he loved and cared deeply for all animals. As a result, the globe commemorates St. Francis Day every year on October 4th, when all pets and animals are taken to church grounds for a service dedicated especially to them, known as the 'Blessing of Pets.'

The feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi is a world-renowned event that calls for a special blessing ceremony for pets. Several parishes around the world celebrate this day, so mark your calendar if you want your pet to be a part of it as well. Pets, livestock, and other farm animals are lined up for a ceremonial blessing with holy water during the event. This is intended to express gratitude to these animals not only for the love they bring into people's lives, but also for the service, labor, and sustenance they provide to humanity. In Franciscan churches, it is customary for a friar to bless each animal with holy water, followed by this prayer.

“Blessed are you, Lord God, maker of all living creatures.

You called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air, and animals on the land.

You inspired St. Francis to call all of them his brothers and sisters.

We ask you to bless this pet.

By the power of your love, enable it to live according to your plan.

May we always praise You for all Your beauty in creation.

Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures!


Bless Pets at Home

While St. Francis of Assisi's feast day is a special day for blessing pets, you can continue to bless your pets at home throughout the year. You can bless your pet for protection by using a vial of holy water followed by a simple verbal prayer. This blessing is best performed outside, such as in the yard or garden, because this is their natural territory, though it may also be performed indoors.

A Blessing for Sick Pets

Because holy water is intended to bless those who are sick or in pain, it can be used to comfort animals. Animals, like humans, experience suffering, and a heartfelt blessing can help them feel better and heal faster. 

Aside from blessing animals with holy water, you could also consider donating blankets or food to needy animals or speaking with your church about rehabilitation for abused animals.