Birds flying from trees
Franciscan Spirit Blog

Will I See My Pet in Heaven?

Oct 13, 2020
weimaraner looking up at his owner

How do we answer children when they ask: “Will I see my dog in heaven?” As I see it, this question is not only an urgent concern for the children. I believe that most adults also have a deep desire to know if, in the next life, we will see our pets and all the other lovely creatures alongside whom we now inhabit this planet.

I feel more comfortable, however, if we pose the question a little more broadly: Namely, does God’s plan of salvation include all creatures? In the reflections below, I think I have lined up a good bit of evidence—from Scripture, from the example of Saint Francis and from the teachings of the Church—which shows that God wishes other creatures besides humans to be included in the plan of salvation. Consider the following:

The creation story of Genesis suggests that God’s care and love extend to all creatures. Would not God’s very act of creating the earth, as well as the plants and animals, imply an unwritten covenant that the Creator will not suddenly stop loving or caring for them?

The story of Noah’s ark leaves little doubt in my mind that God wants all creatures to be saved, not just the humans. For me, the ark is a wonderful symbol of God’s desire to save the whole family of creation. The story suggests to me that it is not God’s plan to save humankind apart from the other creatures. We are all in the same boat, so to speak. As Saint Paul writes to the Romans (8:22), “All creation is groaning” for its liberation.

After the waters of the flood go away, God makes a covenant with all living creatures. The covenant is not simply between God and the humans, but also, as the Bible says, with “all the birds, and the various tame and wild animals….Never again shall all bodily creatures be destroyed by the waters of a flood” (Genesis 9:10-11, italics added).

God’s putting a rainbow in the sky emphasizes the point one more time. God tells Noah: “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all mortal creatures that are on earth” (9:17). Isn’t it interesting that God takes much more care than we humans to include the animals and other creatures in the plan of salvation?

The story of Jonah teaches us the “all-inclusive nature” of God’s saving love. The amazing mind-set of the Jonah story is that animals participate in God’s saving intentions. The Book of Jonah almost reads like a children’s story: There’s a furious storm at sea. The sailors throw Jonah into the raging water. A big fish swallows the prophet and spits him out on the shore. Jonah has been trying to run far away from the task God has assigned him, namely, to preach to the city of Nineveh. Like his fellow Jews, Jonah despises the people of Nineveh. Jonah does not like the fact that God’s saving love includes the likes of them.

The story is really a parable of God’s all-embracing love. Significantly, even the animals are included in God’s saving plan. When Jonah proclaims that Nineveh will be destroyed because of its sins, the king of Nineveh is very responsive: He announces a fast, which includes not only humans but animals as well: “Neither man nor beast, neither cattle nor sheep, shall taste anything,” orders the king. “They shall not eat, nor shall they drink water. Man and beast shall be covered with sackcloth” (3:7-8).

Much to Jonah’s disappointment, God’s mercy is very inclusive and reaches far beyond the Chosen People. God spares the city from calamity because of its repentance. And the last line of the Book of Jonah clearly reveals that God’s saving love extends to all living creatures, not just to humans: “Should I not be concerned,” God asks Jonah, “over Nineveh, the great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot distinguish their right hand from their left, not to mention the many cattle?” (4:11).

In the Book of Psalms, we find prayers in which other creatures are called upon to praise God along with the humans, suggesting that creatures are meant to share our prayerful journey into the presence of God. These are very inclusive kinds of prayer. Listen to Psalm 148. It is a Hymn of All Creation to the Almighty Creator: “Praise the Lord from the heavens….Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars….Praise the Lord from the earth, you sea monsters and all depths; Fire and hail, snow and mist, storm winds that fulfill his word; You mountains and all you hills, you fruit trees and all you cedars; You wild beasts and all tame animals….Let the kings of the earth and all peoples….Young men too, and maidens, old men and boys, Praise the name of the Lord…” (v. 1-13).

A similar hymn of praise to God is sung by the three youths in the fiery furnace in the Book of Daniel (Chapter 3). In the midst of their distress, they invite the whole family of creation to praise the one Lord of all. Just to give a little sampling of this long hymn, the three youths sing: “Sun and moon, bless the Lord….Every shower and dew, bless the Lord….All you winds, bless the Lord….All you birds of the air, bless the Lord….All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord” (v. 52-81).

Do not biblical prayers of this kind suggest that all of us creatures are meant to walk side by side in one common journey to God? Do these prayers not imply that all creatures are included in God’s saving plan?


a loveable cat


Saint Francis gave us a similar style of prayer. It seems obvious that, when he wrote his “Canticle of the Creatures” (sometimes called “Canticle of Brother Sun”), he based its style of prayer on such passages of Scripture as I just cited.

But he added a special personal touch: He gave the titles of “Brother” and “Sister” to the various creatures, as if to emphasize all the more his heart-warming insight that we all form one family of creation under one loving Creator in heaven. “Sister” and “Brother” are familial terms.

Francis had the amazing intuition that we are not meant to come to God alone, as if in proud isolation from our brother and sister creatures. Rather, we are to form one family with them—and to lift up one symphony of praise to our common Creator.

Wouldn’t it seem strange if these sister and brother creatures, who are invited to praise God with us here on earth, are not welcomed to praise God with us in heaven?

Here’s a condensed version of Saint Francis’ canticle:

All praise be yours, my Lord,
through all that you have made.

And first my lord Brother Sun,
who brings the day….

How beautiful is he, how radiant in
all his splendor!

Of you, Most High,
he bears the likeness.

All praise be yours, my Lord,
through Sister Moon and Stars;

In the heavens you have made them,
bright and precious and fair.

All praise be yours, my Lord,
through Brothers Wind and Air….

All praise be yours, my Lord,
through Sister Water,

So useful, lowly, precious and fair.

All praise be yours, my Lord,
through Brother Fire,
through whom you brighten up the night….

All praise be yours, my Lord,
through Sister Earth, our mother,

Who feeds us…and produces various fruits

With colored flowers and herbs…

Praise and bless my Lord,
and give him thanks,

And serve him with great humility.

Turning to the Gospels, we see how reverently and closely Christ worked with creatures. One thing is clear: The Eternal Word did not hold himself aloof from our created world in his efforts to save it, but literally entered the family of creation at the Incarnation. God made this world his home, thus giving all creatures a whole new dignity.

Jesus interacted very naturally and respectfully with the created world, whether on the lakeshore or in the desert or on a mountainside or crossing a wheat field or the Sea of Galilee. In his preaching of the good news of God’s saving love, Jesus easily used images of the birds of the air and the lilies of the field, also foxes, pearls, salt, fig trees, mustard seeds and lost sheep, to name a few.

Jesus used created things in his saving work—wet clay on the eyes of the blind man to bring healing (John 9:6-7). He used the products of wheat and grape—bread and wine—to convey his very presence in the Eucharist.

Finally, after his resurrection, Jesus seemed to leave another hint, near the end of Mark’s Gospel, that the whole family of creation is included in God’s saving love. After his death and resurrection, he tells his disciples: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). Mark doesn’t say “to every human being,” but “to every creature”!

In the final book of the Bible—the Book of Revelation—the inspired writer presents to us a heavenly vision in which all creatures are standing before the throne of God. Obviously, that glorious gathering is not composed exclusively of saved humanity: “Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, everything in the universe, cry out: ‘To the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor, glory and might, forever and ever'” (Revelation 5:13). In this picture of heaven all creatures are present and praising God together.

We take a closer look at the vision of Saint Francis of Assisi (1182-1226). If ever there was a saint who took to heart an inclusive and integral vision of salvation, it was this poor little saint. The most important key to Francis’ vision—that all creatures are meant to form one family—is the Incarnation.

Francis had a great fascination for the feast of Christmas. Francis was deeply aware of one moment in history, namely the moment that God entered creation and the Word was made flesh.

In his mind, this event sent shockwaves through the whole fabric of creation. The Divine Word not only became human. The Word of God became flesh, entering not only the family of humanity but the whole family of creation, becoming one, in a sense, with the very dust out of which all things are made.

Francis had a keen sense that all creatures—not just humans—were to celebrate the feast of Christmas. Francis’ biographers tell us that Francis wanted the emperor to ask all citizens to scatter grain along the roads on Christmas Day so that the birds and other animals would have plenty to eat. Walls, too, should be rubbed with food, Francis said, and the beasts in the stables should also receive a bounteous meal on Christmas Day. By right, all creatures should participate in the celebration of Christmas.

Francis had a clear sense that the saving plan of God, as revealed in the child-Savior born at Bethlehem, was to touch every part of the created world.

Given this vision, it was natural for Francis to take literally Jesus’ command in Mark’s Gospel to “proclaim the gospel to every creature”—to birds and fish, rabbits and wolves, as well as to humans. Why shouldn’t he preach to the animals and birds? Saint Francis refused to be a human chauvinist—presuming that he was to be saved apart from the rest of creation.

Our Catholic liturgy supports and mirrors this kind of vision. “Father, you are holy indeed, and all creation rightly gives you praise.” These words, which begin Eucharistic Prayer III of the Roman Missal, express wonderfully how the Catholic Christian community includes the whole family of creation in its public rites and prayers of praise.

The Catholic liturgy, with its many sacramental rites, makes abundant use of the created world: water, oil, fire, bread and wine, incense, ashes, palm branches, flowers, candles, stained glass, colored vestments, paintings and images of biblical creatures such as eagles, lions, oxen, serpents and doves.

The Catholic community includes all kinds of created elements in its prayer-journey to God. The spirit of Saint Francis seems very much in evidence in Catholic liturgical life.

The world of sound, of course, also plays a part in many Christian liturgies. Psalm 150 serves as a good biblical model for this approach: “Praise [the Lord] with the blast of the trumpet, praise him with lyre and harp, praise him with timbrel and dance, praise him with strings and pipe….Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluia” (3-6).

Again, it would seem strange if all these created beings, which assist us in worshiping God on earth, are not invited to join us in worshiping God in heaven!



Our Christian teaching about the resurrection of the body also reinforces the idea that our whole created world is included in God’s saving plan. Our Christian belief in the resurrection tells of the great significance of our earthly bodies and earthly environment.

At death, our bodies are not discarded like empty shells, as if only our souls are precious and meant to live with God. Not at all. The resurrection affirms that our bodies are precious too and destined to rise again like Jesus’ own body.

At one point in the Catholic funeral ceremony, the priest—without saying a word—solemnly walks completely around the casket, gently swinging the censer, allowing clouds of rising incense to honor the bodily remains of the person who died.

This awesome gesture of respect toward our earthly bodies reinforces our central Christian belief that these earthly bodies—and all that they represent—are meant to be transformed and saved as was Jesus’ glorified body. Indeed, our bodies are vitally interconnected with the whole created world. They could not exist one moment without the sun or the oxygen transmitted by plants. We depend, as well, on our environment for water and food, as well as for the minerals that make up these earthly bodies.

Because of the intimate linkage between our bodies and our environment, it’s hard to imagine how we can be transformed and saved apart from the rest of creation. The doctrine of the resurrection of the body seems to assure us that no genuine part of our human or earthly experience will be lost.

And so we come back to our original question—the question our children ask so earnestly: Will I see my dog in heaven? The question may sometimes sound a bit naïve and simplistic.

But from all the evidence shown above, I believe we can make a good case for the hope embedded deep in each human heart, namely, that the whole family of creation will someday share in the fullness of salvation won by Jesus Christ. The more we see the full implications of our belief in the resurrection of the body and understand the biblical vision of God’s inclusive love, the easier it is for us to give a hopeful answer to our children’s question.

In the final analysis, how many of us are truly satisfied with a vision of heaven that does not include the whole family of creation? We take comfort, therefore, in Saint Paul’s words that “all creation is groaning” for its freedom and redemption (Romans 8:22). More than that, we embrace the great apostle’s “hope that creation itself would… share in the glorious freedom of the children of God” (Romans 8:21).


Click here for a prayer in honor of our pets!


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Comments

Tue, 10/13/2020 - 09:21 AM
Thank you for a very educational exegisis. Children ask about their pets. I think adults have to think more deliberately about how we treat all creatures. For example, the factory farming of the animals we eat is a question I believe more Christians need to examine.
Sun, 02/07/2021 - 09:56 PM
Agreed
Sun, 03/21/2021 - 01:30 PM
100% agreed. It's for this reason that I'm going vegan.
Tue, 10/13/2020 - 09:37 AM
Such a great article showing the Biblical basis for thinking YES, I will see my fury friend again.
Wed, 02/24/2021 - 01:18 AM
I had my first pet and her name was moo moo she had pancreas and diabetes and I had her put down and cremated last year In October 8 but I have her in the box but she still up there in Heaven along with my Nina I just wish I can see them both so much I miss them so much I just wish for once I can see my fury friend Moo moo again and my godmother Sharon again 🥲🥲
Tue, 10/13/2020 - 09:56 AM
This is a most joyful and joy-bringing post. I have meant to read the book also. As a child, I never believed what my mother told me, that my animal friends and all animals just... ended at death. I have never believed that. Now that I am a postulant in a secular Franciscan Anglican order, I am joyful to believe all of God’s magnificent creation will be welcomed into Heavenly eternity. Thank you for this.
Fri, 05/14/2021 - 10:10 PM
As a very young child, when I was 9, my dear cat Kristoff died. I thought this was the end. Well, that’s what my father told me. He told me God isn’t real, and that I’ll never see my cat again because after life is just death. But the rest of my family was a different story. They told me about Jesus Christ and about seeing my cat again, and that there is more to life after death. Jesus is real, good, and still a way maker. 🙏
Tue, 10/13/2020 - 11:03 AM
I never doubted all the beautiful creatures created by God will be in heaven. Maybe that is why they were the only ones privileged to be at that First Christmas. I always thought each is a small glimpse of the Lord and his beauty. Pets unconditional love teaches much about God 'without words'. The crimes man commits against them are appalling - we are supposed to be Caretakers not exploit them for greed and indifference! In doing so, man condemns himself by his cruelty to animals and his abominable lack of respect and care for our gifts of natural resources! Hope we learn before they are all gone forever!
Tue, 10/13/2020 - 11:42 AM
This response was wonderful and heart warming. To think about Gods love for all creation touched me deeply. It also makes a case for the importance of taking proper care of the awesome creation God gave us. So important to care for the earth. Love to all
Tue, 10/13/2020 - 11:58 AM
So beautifully written. And I believe this to the marrow of my being!
Tue, 10/13/2020 - 01:10 PM
I am so grateful to have this beautiful writing at this time in my life, my daughter's dog Bingo, a Yorkie Terrier of 17 years old, died last week, it has been very painful because he was part of our life for 17 years. I am in the process to become a Secular Franciscan, I just enter Candidacy last Sunday, and I love animals, I think God has a deep love for all his creatures, my thinking when our dog died, was "God created him out of love, and to make all man happy, with all that love that our dogs have for us, and faithfulness, it is all from God, and it goes back to him, he will never leave his beautiful creatures, use them for a purpose and dispose of them, God will take them back, that is what was in my mind because God created them and love them. Thank you very much!! It makes me happy and gives me comfort to think of our little dog in God's Kingdom
Tue, 10/13/2020 - 02:02 PM
Dear Father Jack, thank you for your article on pets in Heaven. I don't think it's just children asking that question. I always assumed that God would include them in His Kingdom since he took such care in creating them, as well as the love that people give and receive from animals. Your points indicate that to be true. My dog died decades ago. I still miss him and hope to see him again one day.
Tue, 10/13/2020 - 03:40 PM
The Third Person of the Blessed Trinity appeared in the form of a dove at the baptism of Jesus. Need more be said about the place of animals in the Kingdom?
Tue, 10/13/2020 - 06:33 PM
That was so very nice,,, and I learned a great deal from the article,, thank you
Wed, 10/14/2020 - 07:03 AM
"Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat. The calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them."
Wed, 10/14/2020 - 10:21 AM
I just shared this wonderful commentary with my two Shih Tzus: Yo Shih and Taz Zeaux. Their look of incredulity set me back a bit. They said that being heaven bound was common knowledge, at least among Shih Tzus. (They were uncertain about other canines and bugs. Theological teleology, it must be said, is not a strong point for Shih Tzus.) Given their confidence and your commentary, I find great comfort...now if I can only make it there, too.....
Wed, 10/14/2020 - 10:39 AM
This article is especially meaningful to me right now as one of my dear dogs is terminal from renal disease at age 16. As I share my last days with him, I have every trust that all creatures are included in God's plan. I've prayed to St. Francis to help make his passing an easy one and to give me the strength to help make it so. I feel very close to St. Francis during this awful time.
Tue, 11/03/2020 - 11:16 PM
My dog isn’t well either and has kidney disease. He is 19 and it hurts to think he will be gone but it’s soothing to my heart knowing we will meet again.
Sun, 02/07/2021 - 05:39 AM
She is the smartest, most loving, sweet ,protective and kind dog. She is an Australian shepherd and has just been diagnosed with Lymphoma, she has 2 maybe 3 months left, my heart is shattered. I cook for her ,she sleeps with me, she holds my heart. She's only nine, so young. I have been praying to St.Francis and our holy king Jesus, to help her pass through the other side. I promise her I will be coming to get her soon. I would go with her if I could. I always have a deep,deep connection with my animals. I truly believe my lord will have her waiting for me someday😢🙏
Wed, 04/14/2021 - 10:39 AM
I just lost my beautiful baby girl Bella. She had hemangiosarcoma. Once diagnosed, we had 2 and a half months together. She was my little soul mate, best friend & protector. I am wrecked & not sure how to recover from this great loss. Our connection was deep. I pray for peace & that I will see her again in heaven. This article helped me to have faith in that.
Mon, 10/19/2020 - 11:55 PM
In Matthew 16:19 the bible states what you loose in heaven you loose on Earth and what you bind on Earth you bind in heaven.So perhaps the 'binding' refers to ties that bind us to our families,friends and even our pets. If you gain back what you bound on Earth,it would seem like you ll be reunited with those you had ties with ( or loved) in heaven. Anything you have a bond with it will become tied to your soul.To me,it also includes pets.
Tue, 10/27/2020 - 10:27 AM
When I was young, many times I asked my mom, "Will Tasha (my dog) go to Heaven"? And she would answer sadly, "No honey. Animals don't have souls". I kept asking throughout my childhood because I hoped for a different answer. I just couldn't accept my mother's answer. Thank you for this. I knew there was another, better answer! I'm happy for my mom too, because she lost her dog, Gabriel to a terrible accident. I picture her, now in Heaven with her Gabriel in her arms, and her joyfully saying "I'm so glad my answer to Heidi's question was wrong"!
Fri, 12/18/2020 - 06:53 AM
Dear Father, In the final week of August, I had to put down my 13 year old Labrador, Samson. That same week I found out my 15 year old Pomeranian, Boo Boo, had cancer. On Sunday, Boo Boo went to Heaven. Boo Boo came everywhere with me, including Notre Dame. A favorite professor chided about not getting too close to the dog, as I won’t see him in the hereafter. (Note, I wouldn’t have taken kindly to this comment in Boo’s senior years but he was a mere pup at the time). It’s one of those topics I never wanted to delve too deeply into for fear of not getting the answer I want. It’s not Heaven without my furry boys. Reuniting with them gives great motivation to do better to ensure I make the cut. This article is wonderful. Not just. because it doesn’t foreclose on the possibility, but because of the clear roadmap you present with quotes and an explanation. Your arguments are clear and well-reasoned. Thank you for giving me hope!
Fri, 01/01/2021 - 08:10 AM
Thank you for giving me hope. I lost my beautiful much loved cocker Dylan this summer. He was 15 yrs 4 months old and had to be out to sleep with liver and kidney failure. He was a very empathetic dog and will always be missed.
Thu, 01/21/2021 - 11:13 PM
Thank you for this thoughtful and beautiful article about a subject that is so dear to so many hearts. Thank you. Thank you.
Tue, 01/26/2021 - 12:11 PM
The Bible is not clear about our animals in heaven. We know there are heavenly creatures, but I doubt our creatures, our animals, will be there. This world is a reflection of God's creativity. Man is the only creature listed that had the "breath of life" in Genesis. It's debated what that means. What's clear though is that God cares MUCH more about human souls than animals. God feeds the birds of the air. You and me need to feed our fellow man.
Wed, 03/03/2021 - 03:26 PM
In approx 1 hour I will release my precious toy poodle, Lady , from the consequences of congestive heart failure. Your article gives me a peace. Thank you.
Sun, 03/14/2021 - 06:08 AM
We had two standard poodles which We lost over the last two years. I miss them immensely and will always love them! I had great times with them! Giselle I lost to heart problems in 2019 and Rory to cancer in 2020. I cry for them every day... I pray I will see them in heaven. I keep wishing I would have a dream where I will see them both and I’ll get to hold them and be with them again. Giselle was a very special girl, We got her as a puppy in I believe 2007 or 2008 when my last dog Noel had passed on. She had many of the loving characteristics of Noel and helped soothe my heart! Giselle went with me everywhere. Rory was a free soul who loved to run off when I’d take him to the park on the trails. When Rory would come back, Giselle would always correct him as if he didn’t listen to me. Rory was a very latex back dude kind of an dog he was a sweet red poodle who loved to tease Giselle. I think when Giselle passed Rory became slowly lost They were a couple a beautiful couple.... I pray to almighty God to see them again. They were part of our Family and great friends...
Wed, 03/17/2021 - 03:57 PM
Jasper is a 15 year old Border Collie mix. He is a wonderful dog. He has been in much pain over the last 6 or so months and has been defecating in his crate at night. He still eats well but his having great difficulty getting around, especially standing up. He has also lost his hearing and part of his sight. We are talking about euthanasia sooner than later. I have been crying more than I thought I would at this prospect. We are moving in a few weeks and intend to do this before the move. I am very sad and upset, as is my wife. Although it is more her dog, I am very upset. Please pray for us, and Jasper, especially for his peaceful transition.
Tue, 05/18/2021 - 12:34 PM
Thanks for the article. We just lost our 16 year old rat terrier to kidney failure. My grandsons and I prayed to our Lord Jesus for strength in this difficult time. We all feel the strength of the Holy Spirit. Your article, a great comfort, has contributed to our healing. Thanks again.
Wed, 06/30/2021 - 03:19 AM
I just lost my horse 5 days ago. I am so lost , and grieving so hard I can barely stand it. I thankyou for this article it has helped me. I just want to be in heaven with him .
Dr. Aaron Milavec
Fri, 08/06/2021 - 03:23 AM
Dr. Aaron Milavec
The problem here goes much deeper. In the third century, the Church Fathers gradually embraced the notion of an "immortal soul" from Platonists who had joined the Church. With time, this lead to the misleading noting that the salvation that Jesus brings to us enables us to go to Heaven after we die. This was a tragic mistake. Heaven is for angels; God created us as earthlings! Happily, with Vatican II, we came back to the faith and hope of Jesus, namely, that we are to prepare ourselves for God's coming at the end of time to raise the dead and to establish his Kingdom of God--the renewed earth for his renewed people. It would be mistake to go to Heaven when Jesus is coming to earth to be part of his Father's renewal plan. In effect, no one goes to heaven. Those that we bury in the earth "sleep" in the earth until the final trumpet sounds on the Last Day. At that time we will be surprised to find that the animals are also renewed. Lions grazing with lambs is just one of many changes. I'm certain that the cruel and unusual ways of confining chickens in the dark will be abandoned. . . . I have seven dogs--each of them rescued. I have four kittens--likewise rescued. I am even at the phase where my dogs are eating (along with my family) nearly a completely vegetarian diet. My wife has taught me that we can't rescue dogs from the cruelty of the streets and then resort to supporting another form of cruelty to animals to keep them well-fed. Not everyone will go this far. Yet, the future flowering of the Kingdom of God will, we expect, affirm and bless our actions in harmony with St. Francis right now. . . .
Another Grateful Catholic
Wed, 10/27/2021 - 06:30 PM
Another Grateful Catholic
Dear Aaron, may God bless you and your loved ones, now and for eternity... St. Francis is in Heaven praying and interceding for us, along with the Holy Trinity, with the Holy Family, and all the other innumerable Saints, and the 9 choirs of Angels, and all our 'faithfully' departed loved ones, including, as the Franciscans believe, our family pets (maybe even other animals, too).. And right at this moment, and at probably every moment, another Holy Soul in Purgatory, after detaching him/herself from all of their former addictions / vices/ and many religious misunderstandings, and according to God's holy will, after making their necessary 'reparations' for their lifetime (short or long ) of accumulated confessed and unconfessed sins - these Holy Souls are being officially welcomed to their eternal reward in Heaven, escorted by their very own Guardian Angel ... Dear St. Francis, pray for us, that when we ask God for His gift of Faith, we will embrace it whole heartedly, and may we never let ourselves be separated from Him. Amen+

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