Courtesy Photo

As patron saint of animals, Francis of Assisi is famed for blessing a ferocious wolf in Italy and strengthening its bond with local townspeople. On his deathbed, it is said that his last breath went to thanking his donkey for carrying him. In celebration of the feast of Saint Francis, Franciscan priests at the Old Mission will be welcoming creatures great and small on the front lawn of the church to receive their blessing. Critters who attended in past years have included horses, fish, pigs, rabbits, gerbils, parrots, snakes, lizards, a meerkat, as well as cat and dog breeds that run the gamut. All fuzzy, scaly, or feathered friends are welcome Saturday, October 6, 10-11 a.m. at the Mission, 2201 Laguna St. For more info, call (805) 682-4713, or visit


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