By Christina Hermoso
Papal Nuncio Gabriele Caccia will preside over a high mass at 6 p.m. on Friday, October 4, at the St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Shaw Blvd., Mandaluyong City, in solemn commemoration of the feast of one of the most popular saints of the Roman Catholic Church, Saint Francis of Assisi, the revered founder of the Order of the Friars Minor (OFM), also known as the Franciscans.
The traditional blessing of pets will be held at 9 a.m. In other churches, the blessing of pets was held over the weekend.
St. Francis’ feast day coincides with the observance of World Animal Day, which is held in remembrance of his unbounded love for nature and all creatures. St. Francis is the patron saint of the environment.
St. Francis founded the OFM in 1209 and in 1212, he co-founded with St. Clare, the Order of the Poor Clares. In 1220, he set up the first known Nativity scene in Greccio, Italy. In 1224, he received the gift of a phenomenon known as the stigmata or the five wounds of Christ.