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The Feast of Saint James the Great
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Orthodox blessings for devout kittens


Jim Forest | CC

Daniel Esparza - published on 06/06/17

A monastery where a cats' procession is a daily affair

The Orthodox monastery of Optina, in Kozelsk, Russia, celebrates daily a procession in which the surroundings, inhabitants and neighbors of the monastery are blessed. It is one among many customs, rites and traditions that are part of the daily routine of Russian monastic life.

But the monastery is not only inhabited by monks: 10 stray cats have been adopted and raised in the community, in exchange for their ability to keep certain vermin at bay. And, as is evident in the video, the cats seem to have adopted some of the customs of the monastic life as their own: every morning they accompany Father Sergei Kuzmich in the procession, and receive his blessing.

As we read in the Book of Daniel, “all creatures of the Lord, bless the Lord.” Literally.

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