Francis was the son of a wealthy merchant, but encounters with the poor caused him to take Jesus/the Bible/the "authority of Scripture" literally and - much to the chagrin of his father - give up all his possessions and live a life of poverty, humility, and service to the poor. He was the founder of the Franciscan order, people who to this day dedicate themselves to following his teachings.
So there you have it, modern-day, North American/ European Christianity in a nutshell: take two things having little or nothing to do with the founder and create elaborate worship and prayer customs out of them, all the while ignoring what the founder cared most about! Lord, have mercy.
We - I - am as guilty as anyone of this dynamic. We - I - happily do the Blessing of the Animals service.