Legend has it that when St. Francis of Assisi would preach, birds would fly around him and listen to what he had to say.
Another story tells of the time that St. Francis was able to tame the Wolf of Gubbio, which was terrorizing a city and killing people, by simply preaching to him.
It is no wonder he is known as the patron saint of animals.
And on Sunday, Oct. 5, The Feast of St. Francis will be celebrated in a fitting place – the Cortez Duck Pond.
At 1 p.m. Sunday, Leigh Waggoner, priest of the St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Cortez, will host a blessing of the animals.
This is the third year Waggoner has held the blessing of the animals in Cortez, but the first year it has been held at the duck pond.
“We thought it would be more comfortable at the duck pond,” Waggoner said.
Waggoner said anyone is welcome to bring their well-behaved animals to the nondenominational blessing.
“We get all kinds of animals, dogs and cats. We’ve had horses and donkeys,” she said. “At other churches I have had snakes and rabbits.”
Waggoner said she has been blessing animals for 12 years and has probably blessed several hundred animals.
“I blessed a baby pig once,” Waggoner said. “It just squealed and squealed.”
Waggoner has even blessed stuffed animals.
The National Cathedral in Washington DC has a similar blessing.
“They bring in elephants and giraffes for that one,” she said.
Anyone is welcome to this the blessing of the animals on Sunday, Waggoner said.
“It is fun, and it is very dear,” Waggoner said.
Also coming up
The St. Barnabas Episcopal Church plans harpsichord and flute recital on Oct. 9.
Harpsichord builder and flutist Dan Morgenstern is hauling his hand-made harpsichord from Durango to St. Barnabas and bringing Mika Inouye, a harpsichord player, with him.
They will perform a “Baroque Harvest Celebration” of harpsichord and flute music. It will happen on Sukkot, and he will tie the concert and the Holy Day together.
This will be a fundraiser for Grace’s Kitchen.