The scene caused hilarity among those present, and the reactions on social networks weren’t long in coming.
The video below goes straight to the point. Right after the Offertory procession, a dog appears on the scene, and when it nears the altar it grabs the loaf of bread from the side table and runs off with it.
The scene caused hilarity among those present, and the reactions on social networks weren’t long in coming. “The kingdom of God belongs to the courageous,” wrote one internet user.
Many of the comments reflected some degree of confusion about what the dog took: it was a loaf of bread carried symbolically in the offertory procession, not the hosts to be consecrated.
News outlets such as Noticias Caracol, among the many that reported the episode, explain—based on the profile of the person who posted the video—that the incident took place at the shrine of Our Lady of Belencito, in the Colombian department of Boyacá.
What happens when a dog appears at Mass
What happened in Colombia is not an isolated case when it comes to the presence of pets at religious celebrations. There are many examples, from bringing animals to church for blessings (as happens at many parishes on or around the feast of St. Francis, or the Nicaraguan tradition to bless dogs in honor of St. Lazarus) to efforts by priests to help stray dogs.
One example that got a lot of social media attention in recent years is that of Fr. João Paulo Araujo Gomes, a Brazilian priest who became famous for inviting the faithful at his parish to adopt abandoned dogs rescued from the street. It’s common to see dogs near the altar at the parishes where he serves: