World Animal Day

Celebrated every year on October 4

World Animal Day is celebrated on the same day as the feast day for  St. Francis of Assisi who is considered to be the catholic patron saint for animals, ecology, merchants …and a list of some other things according to who you ask it.

Born as a wealthy son of a silk merchant and a noble woman, the little Francis didn’t have any trading spirit at all.
He was spoiled rotten by his wealthy parents and soon learned to spend money like candy.
However when the young Franciscus learned that buying stuff didn’t make him happy enough, he gave away everything he had.
And when he gave away all that he had, he would give away his father’s wares.
His father was not amused.
After many parental fights and a pilgrimage, Franciscus knew that he never wanted to return to being rich ever and left hisparents and wealth behind to pursue a life of poverty.

Mural of St. Francis of Assisi and the Wolf of Gubbio.

Among the many ways Franciscus helped people, he was greatly known for how he treated animals.
Regularly he stopped traveling to preach to flocks of birds. And according to what we are told, the birds listened to him attentively because they liked his voice so much.
Famous is him negotiating between a ferocious wolf and the town of Gubbio.
Franciscus befriended the wolf and made a deal that the town would feed the wolf and the wolf would do no more harm.
He even negotiated between the wolf and the dogs of the town to make peace.

In 1925 Heinrich Zimmermann, writer and publisher of the magazine Mensch und Hund/Man and Dog, organized the first World Animal Day on March 24.
In 1926 World Animal Day was first celebrated on October 4 and in 1931 Zimmermann succeeded to have a resolution adopted at the International Animal Protection Congress in Florence to make World Animal Day an official global holiday on October 4.

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