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Dog Attends Daily Mass at Church Where Dead Owner Used to Go

Ciccio, a 12-year-old German shepherd, whose owner passed away two months ago, visits the church she used to frequent and where her funeral was celebrated, patiently waiting for her to return.

The people attending the church of Santa Maria Assunta in San Donaci, Italy have received a lesson in love and loyalty from a dog that for the past two months has been coming in for the daily mass, hoping his beloved owner would return. Local Maria Margherita Lochi, 57, had adopted Ciccio years ago, after she found him abandoned in the fields near her home. She was an animal lover who had taken in several stray cats and dogs, but her connection with Ciccio was special. Apparently he felt the same way, as even though Maria died two months ago, the dog keeps coming back to the place he last saw her. She would walk with him to the church, for the daily Mass, and the priest would allow him to wait patiently at her feet. He was even there with Maria’s loved ones at her funeral. But Ciccio seems to have a tough time letting go, and he comes back into the church each day, as soon as he hears the bells calling in the faithful for the Holy Mass. He just sits by the side of the altar, quietly, hoping Maria will come back…



“He’s there every time I celebrate Mass and is very well behaved – he doesn’t make a sound, I’ve not heard one bark from him in all the time he has been coming in,” says Father Donato Panna. “He’s still coming to Mass even after Maria’s funeral, he waits patiently by the side of the altar and just sits there quietly. I didn’t have the heart to throw him out – I’ve just recently lost my own dog so I leave him there until Mass finishes and then I let him out.” Everyone in San Donaci has been so impressed by Ciccio’s loyalty to his owner that they decided to adopt and look after him


This kind of heart-breaking stories never cease to impress me. I posted quite a few of them on OC, if you’re looking to shed some tears: Capitan, who has been living by his owner’s grave for 6 years, Leao, the dog who lost his master to landslides in Brazil, or the Russian dog who stood guard over his mate’s body for a week, after she was hit by a car. Tragic stories that make me appreciate dogs even more.


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