Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

Catholic Prayer: Roman Ritual: A Blessing for Animals Afflicted with a Serious Disease

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Description:

The blessing for animals, particularly farm animals, has been a long tradition for the feast of St. Anthony, Abbot (and Hermit) on January 17. The Vatican practices this blessing annually. The feast of St. Francis of Assisi (October 4) is another day for particular use of this blessing.

From the Rural Life Prayerbook in regards to the blessings:

All the blessings here given have been carefully translated into modern English from the 1944 edition (Benziger) of the Rituale Romanum (Roman Ritual)

These blessings are in no way intended to be a Priest's Ritual. The blessings have been translated into modern English for the use of men and women and their families. The intention is to acquaint them with the riches of the Church which have long been unknown and unused, like a treasure hidden under our very door step. The translations here given can be used with great profit in the family circle, with the father or mother leading and the children taking up the responses. They are excellent topics for discussion in the family circle.

And finally, these blessings will give the faithful much food for deep meditation upon the gifts of the earth with which God has so generously blessed us.

Prayer:

(The priest wearing a surplice and a violet stole, says:)

V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R. Who has made heaven and earth.

V. Lord, do not act with us as our sins would demand.
R. Nor repay us according to the measure of our evils.

V. Men and cattle You will save, Lord.
R. According as You have multiplied Your mercy, O God.

V. You open Your hand.
R. And fill every animal with blessing.

V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry reach up to You.

V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with your spirit.

Let us pray.

God, by the means of dumb animals You have given help to men in their labors. We humbly beg of You that these animals, without which our human wants cannot be supplied, be not lost to our use, through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.

Let us pray.

We humbly beg of You, Lord, in Your mercy, that in Your name and by the power of Your blessing, You cure these animals, afflicted with a serious disease. May all power of the devil that is in them be driven out. And that they be not any more afflicted by diseases, Lord, be for them a guard of their life and remedy producing health, through Jesus Christ Your Son, our Lord, who lives and is King and God with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit for ever and ever.
R. Amen.

Let us pray.

Be so kind, Lord, as to turn away from those who are faithful to You all the scourges of punishment. Drive away the harmful disease that is raging among the animals so that, as with justice You punish those men who wander from Your paths, so with mercy You may assist them when they have amended their ways, through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.

(And they are sprinkled with holy water.)

Prayer Source: Rural Life Prayerbook by Alban J. Dachauer, S.J., National Catholic Rural Life Conference, 4625 Beaver Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50310 ncrlc.com, 1956