Approximately 100 local community members brought their pets to St. Anastasia Catholic Church in Playa del Rey Friday, Oct. 1 for the annual Blessing of the Animals in the church’s Diamond Courtyard.

A wide range of animals including dogs, cats, birds, lizards, guinea pigs and hamsters were taken in by their owners to receive a blessing in honor of the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi.

St. Francis of Assisi is a Catholic saint who was born in 1182. He lived a life of poverty and is known as the patron saint of animals.

“We bless our animal friends near this feast day to honor St. Francis’ love for all creatures,” said Monsignor Gabriel Gonzales of St. Anastasia Church, who officiated at the event. “Our pets are members of our family and by giving them this blessing it’s a chance for us to unite together in our love for God’s creatures.”

In addition to the blessing, the animal participants received treats and St. Francis medals.

St. Anastasia Catholic Church is at 7390 W. Manchester Ave., Playa del Rey.

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