BELMAR, NJ — The assemblage of the furry and the four-legged could not be missed in front of St. Rose R.C. Church on Saturday morning.

With most of the pets on leashes, others being held and even a handful being wheeled to their destination at 603 Seventh Avenue, they gathered with their owners for the Blessing of the Animals on October 6. And one by one, Mgr. Edward Arnister and the Rev. Christopher Dayton greeted each animal with a smile and a prayer.

The annual tradition is celebrated worldwide to commemorate the Feast of St. Francis Assisi, the patron saint of animals, who is remembered for his love of all creatures.

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