Growing up Baptist, I didn't really have much understanding of the various saints. I had heard of St. Peter standing watch at Heaven’s entry gate, but the rest were somewhat unfamiliar to me. However, my God-mother lived next door and she, an Episcopalian, was pretty familiar with the saints, but none more so than St. Francis. She had statues of him in her front yard, a big St. Francis bird bath in her back yard, needlepoint pillows with his image on them on her couch, and a couple of his sayings hanging up on her walls – “You may be the only Gospel your neighbor ever reads” is one that stands out still to this day in my mind.

This past Sunday our churchyard was again full of dogs and (smartly) crated cats for the blessing of the animals as we celebrated the Feast of St. Francis. I saw this video below a couple of years ago and it just makes me smile. There’s no music, just simply watching the interaction of a young boy with Down Syndrome and a persistent Labrador Retriever determined to befriend him. I’m not sure exactly how or where, but I see God present in this interaction.