Malate church blesses snakes, tarantulas

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 08 2012 10:49 AM | Updated as of Oct 09 2012 12:52 AM

Fr. Michael Martin of Malate Church blessed dogs, cats, birds, snakes and tarantulas.

MANILA, Philippines - Local residents celebrated the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi by having their pets blessed at the Our Lady of Remedies Parish Church in Malate.

A CBCPNews report said Fr. Michael Martin of Malate Church blessed dogs, cats, birds, snakes and tarantulas in the annual celebration.

The priest said the annual celebration seeks to remind the faithful that caring for God’s creation is not just a slogan, but is a teaching with moral dimensions that cannot be ignored.

"Today, there’s a terrible destruction of God’s creation and there’s a greater need than even before to reverse this pattern of destruction," Martin said.

"Stop destroying God’s creation… so symbolically we do that today by bringing animals, plants and samples of life," he said.

The official feast day of St. Francis is October 4 but the Malate Church decided to celebrate it again today to accommodate and bless more animals.

The parish also offered free rabies vaccinations to dogs and cats inside the church grounds from 9am to 12nn.

St. Francis was an Italian monk from the 12th century known for his love of the environment and animals.