Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

St. Francis of Assisi, Feast of

October 3-4
The most important festival of the Franciscan calendar in Assisi, Italy, the feast of St. Francis (1181-1226) commemorates the saint's transition from this life to the afterlife. For two days the entire town is illuminated by oil lamps burning consecrated oil brought from a different Italian town each year. A parchment in St. Francis's handwriting, believed to be the saint's deathbed blessing to his follower, Brother Leo, is taken to the top of the Santa Maria degli Angeli basilica—built in the 16th century around St. Francis's humble hermitage known as the Porciúncula —and the people are blessed by the pope's representative ( see Forgiveness, Feast of).
In the United States, it is not uncommon for people to bring their pets to church to be blessed on St. Francis's feast day, because of his love for animals as expressed in his Canticle of Creatures .
See also St. Anthony the Abbot and San Francisco
CONTACTS:
Italian Government Tourist Board
630 Fifth Ave., Ste. 1565
New York, NY 10111
212-245-5618; fax: 212-586-9249
www.italiantourism.com
SOURCES:
BkFestHolWrld-1970, p. 111
BkHolWrld-1986, Oct 4
DaysCustFaith-1957, p. 251
DictWrldRel-1989, p. 266
FolkAmerHol-1999, p. 413
IndianAmer-1989, pp. 257, 289, 302
OxYear-1999, p. 402
References in periodicals archive ?
Every year, like clockwork, my dogs receive a blessing on October 4, the feast of St.
The Earth Mass has been celebrated for the last two decades in October on the feast of St.
Each October the Paul Winter Consort, the Omega Liturgical Dance Company, and a long procession of people and their pets observe the blessing of the animals by celebrating the Feast of St.
Francis of Sylvania and Lourdes College, blesses pets for the feast of St.

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