For the first time in Dijon, our pets and their master will be able to receive the blessing of Father Chevallier, on the occasion of the traditional fair in the parish of Saint-Bernard.
On the forecourt of the parish of Saint-Bernard located on the heights of Dijon, Father Chevallier beams with joy. He is delighted to be able to proceed on Saturday, May 14 to the first blessing of the pets of the people of Dijon on the occasion of the traditional fair of his parish. “I don’t know when was the last blessing of pets in Dijon, but from the memory of an ecclesiastic, it’s a first! »he tells us.
When he strolls around his parish between two services and a tour of his vegetable garden, the priest cannot help talking about it to the people he meets accompanied by their dog to encourage them to come. Listening to him, discussions are already going well in the local bistros to find out if such a blessing makes sense for pets. “It’s really going to be a wacky event,” he jokes.
Saturday 2:30 p.m., the religious ceremony will begin with a choir of about ten children who will sing “There is a chip missing from Noah’s ark”, followed by a reading of the messianic prophecy of the Book of Isaiah (chap.XI) on the reconciliation between human beings and the animal world. It is after these two times, which are intended to be “light and joyful”, that Father Chevallier will proceed to the blessing of the pets. He will then pass with holy water to sprinkle the suitors.
“It will take place outside and the blessing phase should only take about ten minutes, so I urge people to come from 2 p.m. so as not to miss the ceremony,” he told us.
According to the clergyman, this tradition comes from the rural environment in which formerly “we proceeded to the blessing of land, seeds and animals to call the blessing of God. This has extended to pets”. For Saturday’s blessing, all animals are welcome. “Beyond dogs and cats, there should be rabbits, goldfish and even snails. But everyone can come with the animal they want to see blessed because God loves all beings and he blesses them all” .
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In the eyes of Father Chevallier, Saint-Bernard – who lived in the 11th century on the hill of Fontaine – could be the patron saint of ecology because “unlike Saint Francis of Assisi, who is often associated with animals through his canticle of creatures, Saint -Bernard preferred, from the age of 21, to live with his brother monks in nature, to remain unknown to the world and to rediscover this communion between God and Man, between Man and the earth”. This parish, which is dedicated to him in Dijon, proposes, this Saturday, to bless “the animal soul of animals, different from the spiritual soul of Man for whom Christ shed his blood”.
The fair that surrounds this blessing is open to everyone. Throughout the weekend, it will offer children pony rides on the meadow, games, a flea market, waffles and a whole variety of stands that will allow the parish to finance maintenance or repair work, like the adjoining rooms of the parish intended for the children of the district who can take tutoring lessons there. This celebration, which takes place every year, should henceforth include every year a time dedicated to the blessing of our dear furry or scaly companions.