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World Animal Day and Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi

Today is World Animal Day. Started in 1931 by a group of ecologists and celebrated on 4 October every year World Animal Day brings focus to the needs and plight of animals around the world. The founders selected 4 October because it is the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals, ecologists and merchants and one of two patron saints of Italy.

Francis taught that man had a responsibility to all creation on two accounts. One that we were stewards of the creation and two that we are created ourselves and have an obligation to honor our creator and His creation. He taught that all creation sings Gods praises and that all creation brings glory to its creator.


  • To celebrate animal life in all its forms
  • To celebrate humankind’s relationship with the animal kingdom
  • To acknowledge the diverse roles that animals play in our lives – from being our companions, supporting and helping us, to bringing a sense of wonder into our lives
  • To acknowledge and be thankful for the way in which animals enrich our lives.

Mission from World Animal Day Web Site

This year’s World Animal Day brings us pause to consider Threatened and Endangered Species. The number one threat to species is loss of habitat. With the increasing world population this will become more of an issue rather than less as more people compete for a set amount of space.

This challenges us think. What action am I taking now and how does it affect the world I live in. This can be overwhelming to the point of making us not want to think. Or, it can make us wonder what small thing can I do to better share this world with all the rest of creation. If even 3.5 billion people (only half the current human population) all think about the small next thing they could do to better share, can you imagine the difference? I can! I can imagine the difference if only the western world takes this action and how others will follow.

Animals have made my life much better, from the pets that I share my home with to the humming birds chttering over the feeders out my window as I type this. I can’t, and won’t, imagine a world without them. I think it would be wonderful if you’d share, in the comments, how animals, wild or domestic, have made your life richer for their presence in your life.

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