Honoring the Feast of Saint Francis, Saint Joseph Church, West Milford, held its traditional Blessing of the Animals on Sunday, October 9. While the event was scheduled to take place at Echo Lake field, the inclement weather dictated that it be taken indoors. The Mass was celebrated in the Parish Center which precluded the attendance of the many horses and riders who usually attend this yearly event. Rev. Sigmund Peplowski, pastor of Saint Joseph Church, and Deacon Anthony Curcio blessed the animals and each was given a Saint Francis medal. The story of Saint Francis and his link to animals goes back many years. Saint Francis (1182-1226) had a great love of all nature and many stories told of his ability to communicate with animals. A famous tale tells of the village of Gubbio being terrorized by a vicious wolf. Taking pity on the people, Francis went out to meet the wolf. He blessed the animal and ordered it to stop his attacks. From that time on the wolf lived in peace with the people of the village, going door to door to be fed by the townspeople and living in harmony.