The Russian Orthodox Church has promised to consecrate cats and dogs on International Homeless Animals Day this weekend, adding the furry creatures to its ever-expanding roster of blessed items.
The church has performed religious rites over satellites and launch pads, a habit that inspired a dedicated Twitter account collecting photographs of Orthodox priests apparently blessing objects that include rifles, a crosswalk and computers.
This Saturday, a church in Lemeshovo, a small town south of Moscow, said it will perform a prayer service for the International Homeless Animals Day.
Pet owners will be invited to have their beloved animals sprinkled with holy water, Interfax reported Friday.
“Each of us can now create a small ark to save God’s creatures,” said Pyotr Dynnikov, archpriest of the Iliynsky temple that will host the blessing ceremony.
Dynnikov said the temple will also say a prayer for those who provide shelter to homeless animals.
The church’s website lists an evening vigil starting at 5 p.m. this Saturday.
The International Society for Animal Rights said international animal observance days have been held in 50 countries and on 6 continents since International Homeless Animals’ Day began in 1992.