Whoever has pets is used to considering them part of the family. Did you know that even animals have got their own Patron Saints?
The most famous ones are probably St. Francis of Assisi and St. Anthony of Padua. In reality, there are other Catholic Saints who are considered the Protectors of Animals.
Discover who they are by reading the article below.
St. Francis of Assisi: Patron Saint of Animals
Probably the most famous among all, Saint Francis of Assisi is considered the Patron Saint of all animals and ecology, due to several sentences in His Canticle, such as “May you be praised Lord in all your creatures”. When He says “all your creatures”, St. Francis wants to mention every single son (or daughter) of God, even animals who live on earth. St. Francis really felt a great love for all God’s creatures and expressed it in his tender care of lepers, his effort in finding peace between Muslims and Christians (during the fifth Crusade) and in His prayers of thanksgiving for creation. In fact, his sermons preached to animals and his insistence that all creatures are brothers and sisters under the same Almighty God. In His Song of Songs, St. Francis invites all Christians and creatures to give honor and praise to the Lord: among these creatures, he includes animals, plants and natural forces, such as “Brother Sun” and “Sister Moon”. Through his masterpiece, the Saint wants to witness that when we are at peace with God we are better able to completely devote ourselves to building up that peace with all creation. He wants to strengthen that sense of fraternity towards all the creatures of God, because everything that exists is the result of God’s unconditional love for humanity.
If you do have pets and want to dedicate some prayers to their Patron Saint, you can use this handcrafted religious statue depicting Saint Francis of Assisi, entirely realized in hand-painted wood. In this religious representation, the Saint of Assisi is depicted with a white dove, a wolf and a tiny sheep.
St. Gertrude of Nivelles: Patron Saint of Cats
Celebrated on 17 March, St. Gertrude was a Benedictine abbess who lived during the seventh century in what is now Belgium and she is considered the Patron Saint of cats, due to the fact that she was usually invoked against rat and mice infestations. This is because at that time mice were considered the main causes for fleas, plague and other infectious diseases. Since mice are usually afraid of cats, she was considered the Patroness of Cats, as well as pilgrims and travelers.
Looking for some inspirational prayers for your cats? Take a look at this beautiful prayer to St. Gertrude of Nivelles and ask Her to intercede for your four-legged friends.
Prayer for cats
O holy St. Gertrude of Nivelles, Patron Saint of Cats,
I ask you to pray that my sweet kitty(ies) will always be content,
energetic, curious, playful, and good-natured.
I pray my cat(s) will be a joy to me and those I love.
Carry my cat(s) to the throne of the Father and ask Him to bless my cat(s)
with long life and great happiness.
Pray dear saint that my cat(s) stay free from illness and that my cat(s) always feel safe,
protected, and loved.
Thank you for asking blessings upon my cat(s).
Ask the Lord to pour out special graces upon all cats and cat owners.
May they bring great love to one another and live companionably in peace.
St. Roch: Patron Saint of Dogs
Celebrated on 16 August, Saint Roch is considered the Patron Saint of Dogs, in addition to being the Protector of invalids, falsely accused people and bachelors. He was a Catholic Saint who lived in the 13th century and came from a rich family. After losing his parents at the age of twenty, he started wandering the countryside near Rome and spent most of his life helping the needy, especially people who suffered from plague. He was so close to suffering people that he caught the plague himself. Since he did not want to weigh on others with his care, he entered the forest to die alone. Being very weak and starving, he was found by a stray dog who brought him some bread and took care of him. It is said that the hunting dog healed the Saint by licking the wounds the plague created and kept bringing the man food for several days to keep him alive. After Roch completely recovered from plague, he discovered that the dog was owned by a local Count who had been a friend of his over the years. Together, Saint Roch and his four-legged friend traveled to Montpellier, his hometown, where they both got arrested and spent 5 years in jail for being accused of spying. According to some sources, after the Saint died, the dog kept taking care of other prisoners, during the next years.
Do you have dogs at home and you want the Lord to watch over them, especially if they are sick?
Recite this beautiful prayer and ask God to heal and protect them every day.
Prayer for healing dogs
You are merciful not only to mankind but to all creation.
It is because I know Your faithfulness that I appeal to You.
For behold, my beloved dog has grown ill.
He is such a blessing, Lord, and I cannot imagine
the pain he is in.
I beg You to have mercy upon us and
bring healing to his/her body.
Take away his/her pain,
so that they are not suffering anymore.
Nurse them back to health by Your gentle Spirit.
Other Patron Saints of Animals
Wondering what about the other animals?
Here is a short list of the most famous Patron Saints of animals and pets.
Discover them all!
- Animals: St. Anthony of Egypt, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Cornelius, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Nicholas of Tolentino;
- Bees: St. Ambrose,
- Birds: St. Anthony of Egypt, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Gall;
- Blackbirds: St. Kevin;
- Cows: St. Brigid, St. Perpetua;
- Dogs: St. Hubert, St. Roch;
- Doves: St. David;
- Geese: St. Martin of Tours;
- Horses: St. Eligius, St. Giles, St. Hippolytus, St. Martin of Tours;
- Pets: St. Anthony the Abbot; St. Vitus, Pope St. Sylvester, St. Blaise;
- Sick Animals: St. Bueno;
- Veterinarians: St. Blaise, St. Eligius;
- Whales: St. Brendan the Voyager;
- Wild Animals: St. Blaise