Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

Annual pet blessing hails the patron saint of animals

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Photo gallery

Spirited pooch: Harley the boxer — flanked by owner Pat Piellucci and Rev. Michael McGee — takes the ceremony at Good Shepherd Church in stride.
Holy douse: Owners assemble with their prides and joys in the courtyard of Good Shepherd Church for a pet blessing from Rev. Michael McGee.
Good boy: Diane Michilik gives her handsome pooch, Sandy, a kiss after he braved the anointing at Good Shepherd Church.
Flock to it: A furry-and-feathered congregation gathers for rites in the courtyard of St. Paul’s Church in Flatbush on Sunday.
Fot pet’s sake: Flatbush tween Breanna Homer, 11, has a firm grip on her Pomeranian, Polo, as Rev. Sheldon Hamblin of St. Paul’s Church spritzes the canine with holy water.
Angelic trio. St. Paul’s Church’s parishioner Tashi Addison has her hands full with Princess, Chewy, and Leia.

Brooklyn’s furry and feathered friends are blessed beasts with a personal ticket to pet heaven.

Fido and Fifi made a beeline for their local churches this weekend — dragging along their proud owners — to celebrate Sunday’s Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, and receive a sprinkle of holy water in honor of the patron saint of animals.

The divine assembly line at pet blessings across the borough featured a congregation of dogs, cats, birds, bunnies, gilled beauties, and even snakes, most of them were blissfully unaware of the fuss and excitement that lay ahead — including a brush with Rev. Michael McGee’s water hose at Good Shepherd Church in Marine Park on Friday.

Wag-erific Marine Park pooch Harley, a 3-year-old boxer, took the excitement in stride.

“She thinks everybody’s her friend, so when father McGhee came with the water, she just thought, here’s another pal!” laughed Harley’s mom Pat Piellucci.

Some pet owners even came away with a miracle.

Flatbush resident Tashi Addison bribed her three, rambunctious pooches — Princess, a Rottweiler beagle mix, and shih tzus Chewy and Leia — with lots of doggie treats, only to discover they had a new leash on life after the blessing.

“They all seem to be getting along better now,” she said.

Updated 10:15 pm, July 9, 2018
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