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Farm animals brought to St. Peter's Square for annual blessing

January 17, 2014

In a traditional observance for the feast of St. Anthony Abbot, dozens of farm animals were brought to St. Peter’s Square on January 17, to receive a blessing from Cardinal Angelo Comastri, the vicar general of Vatican City.

Stalls filled with horses, cows, pigs, sheep, goats, were set up in front of St. Peter’s Square during the day. After a Mass in the Vatican basilica, Cardinal Comastri blessed the animals.

The unique event is organized annually by the Italian Association of Livestock Farmers, for whom St. Anthony is the patron saint. The group also invited residents of Rome to bring their household pets for a free veterinary inspection, and offered free fruit to passersby.


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