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Sarah Revell
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Mission San Luis Hosts 13th Annual Blessing of Animals


Bring your furry, scaly, hooved and feathered friends to the 13th annual Blessing of Animals at Mission San Luis this Saturday, October 7 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to receive a special pet blessing from the kind-hearted and pet-friendly clergymen of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. All pets are welcome.

The annual event at Mission San Luis, held the first Saturday in October each year, has become a Tallahassee tradition. In years past, there has been quite an interesting assortment of animals who received the wave of a rosemary branch with holy water, including a colorful caterpillar, miniature horses, a goldfish, a hawk, a large lizard and lots of cats and dogs. Even virtual pets and those “in absentia” have been blessed. 

“Blessing of Animals has been a Tallahassee tradition at Mission San Luis for 13 years, but it originated in the 13th century in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi, who believed that all animals should be treated with dignity and respect,” said Secretary of State Ken Detzner. “I encourage all Tallahassee animal-lovers to come out to Mission San Luis to experience this unique event and bring their own pet for a special blessing.”


Caption: Fr Matthew Busch performing blessing of pets at Mission San Luis in 2016.
(Photo by Sara Brockman, Florida Department of Sate)

Mission San Luis encourages the Tallahassee community to come out for a free day of fun and socialization with their favorite animal friends. Certificates of each blessing will be provided free of charge. There will be a photographer on hand to take visitors’ portrait photos which will be posted on the Mission’s Facebook site.

In addition to animal blessings, visitors can tour the park’s living history village, test their skill at archery and enjoy tasty treats. St. Francis Wildlife Association will be on-hand from 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. to present their “In Cold Blood with St. Francis Wildlife” reptile program. There will also be a craft activity for kids and animal welfare organization booths with pet adoptions. This year, don’t miss the marine touch tank exhibit through the Sea–to–See Program by the FSU Department of Biological Science's Office of Science Teaching Activities Program. 

Guests are encouraged to bring pet food and supply donations for area animal shelters. Animals must be on leashes or in carriers. Mission San Luis is pet-friendly year-round.

For more information about Mission San Luis, Florida’s Apalachee-Spanish Living History Museum on the site of the 17th-century western capital of Spanish Florida, visit or call 850.245.6406. Mission San Luis is managed by the Florida Department of State and is located at 2100 West Tennessee Street in Tallahassee.


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About Mission San Luis
Florida’s Apalachee-Spanish Living History Museum was the western capital of Spanish Florida from 1656 to 1704. Today, the Mission brings the early 1700s to life with living history interpreters in period dress, reconstructed period buildings, exhibits, and archaeological research. The site is managed by the Florida Department of State, Office of External Affairs, and support is provided by the Friends of Florida History. Mission San Luis is located at 2100 West Tennessee Street in Tallahassee, Florida, and is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is Tallahassee’s only National Historic Landmark and is pet-friendly to animals on leashes year-round. Visit, for more information.