Philippines celebrates World Animal Day
Animal lovers in the Philippines hosted an online pet blessing this weekend to commemorate World Animal Day.
World Animal Day, October 4, is an annual celebration that aims to raise the status of animals and improve standards of welfare for them around the world. It falls on the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.
The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) urged Filipinos to raise their pets in front of their TV screens for blessing after mass on Sunday, October 3.
PAWS is a non-profit organization that promotes animal rights and welfare. The organization also adopts and cares for pets and abused animals.
For the past two years, PAWS has been hosting an online blessing of pets due to the pandemic.
“The pandemic prompted us to move on to a virtual celebration of this important day to keep everyone safe. PAWS Executive Director Anna Cabrera said in a Facebook post.
We are blessed. We want our pets to also feel that they are part of the Christian family and that they are gifts from God.
“Those who wanted their animals to be blessed could celebrate Mass next to their animals and raise them during the animal blessing. ”
Organizers also urged pet owners to capture the moment they raised their pets in front of their TVs and post their photos online.
Cabrera said pets have played an important role in helping people cope with social restrictions such as having to stay at home due to Covid-19.
“The Covid-19 situation has also highlighted our interdependence – what happens to one human affects another in the same way that our treatment of animals and the environment affects all lives on this earth,” he said. declared Cabrera.
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Salesian Father Jose Antonio “Joey” Paras celebrated the Mass online attended by many pet owners across the country.
In his homily, Father Paras said that animals are gifts from God that require human care.
“When God, in the creation story says, you will have dominion over all these [creatures], he didn’t want to abuse it [animals] but to take care of it as part of nature, ”said Father Paras.
Meanwhile, hundreds of animal lovers had their pets blessed in a drive-through ceremony at a parish in Quezon City, Manila.
Parishioners of Saint Francis of Assisi held a driving blessing with pet owners in a long line of vehicles.
“We are blessed. We want our pets to also feel that they are part of the Christian family and that they are gifts from God,” said Maribeth Sy, parishioner and dog lover.
More than 500 animals were blessed during the event.
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