ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd and St. Luke hosted an annual event to honor and bless animals as we get closer to the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.

“We always do something around the Feast of St. Francis, blessing animals, pets. This year though, we decided to go a little bigger,” said Father Earl Mahan.

They put on this event every year in honor of St. Francis of Assisi. But this time, they brought a mobile petting zoo from Nick’s Barnyard Buddies so that children can learn about farm animals.

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“St. Francis was very much in tune with all of nature, and had a special affection for animals in and around Assisi. And he just has been known ever since as a saint that honors animals,” said Lesley McIntire, a member of the church.

The festival honors all kinds of animals, as each of them play an important role on this Earth.

He remains the most significant and popular saint among people of all faiths. And he taught us something about our relationship to creation, to all of God’s creatures, to the plants, the animals, the air, the water,” said Father Mahan.

And members of the church made sure to teach that to all the young children who came to say hello to the animals.

“It’s really important that we realize that we live in a world where all living creatures are important. That we’re all interconnected,” said McIntire.