Sunday, Oct. 4 is the festival day of St. Francis of Assisi, considered the patron saint of animals. Several churches in the Tamaqua area held blessings of the animals in conjunction with the feast day. Here, the Rev. Phyllis Wofford, pastor of St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, Pine and Mauch Chunk Streets, Tamaqua, blesses pets in the church's garden on Saturday, Oct. 3.