I miss Orkney so am grateful to St Francis for having his feast day today and reminding me of the happy times spent on that beautiful group of islands, and of course in the Italian Chapel.
Of course St Francis of Assisi is best known for his love of animals, and while we are not have an animal blessing service this year, I offer you a prayer from it to use today, especially if you have any pets.
Life-giving God we thank you for all animals, the large and the small, the furry, the scaly and the feathery; the ones that walk, the ones that swim, the ones that fly, the ones that slither. Teach us to love all your creation and revere its sacredness, give us the gifts of compassion not just towards humankind but towards all creatures great and small. We thank you for those animals who work and pray that they may have plenty of rest and fun, we pray for all farm animals, for all the creatures we are not too keen on, the spider, the midge, the cockroach. For all creatures great and small we give thanks. Amen.