Following Tradition Set by St. Francis
You could rephrase it as “bring your animals to church day.” Today is a special Catholic ceremony called the “Blessing of the Animals.” Animals are brought into churches and blessed by priests. Millions of animals are brought in every year.
Archbishop Gomez with a cow. pic.twitter.com/iB3fQGQdTt
— Kate Mather (@katemather) April 4, 2015
It connects to St. Francis of Assisi. St. Francis is the patron saint of animals and ecology. He was known for preaching to animals and stating that they were “brothers and sisters under God.” He treated all of nature as equal and preached stewardship of nature as a spiritual duty for Catholics.
The Catholic Church does teach that animals and plants have souls. It is contested whether animals go to Heaven because they don’t have the moral sense to make the decisions necessary to achieve it.
Many churches are using it to have a festival. Look at local guides if you are interested in having an animal blessed or would like to see if there are festivities that you can attend.