Jared Ng

Little Kayla, carrying her pet dog, Foxx, waited patiently amid the crowd that thronged the carpark at the Church of St Mary of the Angels as Franciscan friar Esmond Chua made his way around to bless the wide array of canine breeds.

When it was her turn, she gently lifted Foxx to receive the special blessing which honours the feast day of St Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and ecology.

The Oct 7 event is “a Franciscan tradition ... A celebration of St Francis and how he saw God in all things around him including animals and the environment,” said Friar Jason Richard.

Elsewhere in the church, other animals like cats, turtles, hamsters and rabbits received a similar blessing.

About 250 pet owners participated in the event which has been going on for than a decade.

Besides the blessing, various charities and animal organisations like Cat Welfare Society, Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) and Purely Adoptions set up stalls at the church.

Other animals like cats and hamsters receive a similar blessing.  Photos: LUMINAIRE PHOTOGRAPHY MINISTRY

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