Thousands of Spanish dogs, cats, turtles, horses, rabbits, and other pets and farm animals were sprinkled with holy water on January 17, 2011, as Spain celebrated St. Anthony's Day. And what finer place to receive a blessing than in central Madrid's Church of San Anton named for the patron saint of animals himself.
Most of us know St. Anthony as the patron saint of lost things, poor persons, and travelers, but according to legend, animals faithfully followed St. Anthony and listened to him - a predecessor of the Pied Piper, perhaps?
Like human church-goers on Sundays, pets were adorned in their best and most fashionable attire for the occasion.
Maybe there weren't as many farm animals receiving blessings in Madrid as there were elsewhere in Spain, where this clearly prize-winning goat patiently awaits his blessing...
Blessing our pets and farm animals is a wonderful idea that all denominations should undertake. After all, who deserves blessings more than they do? In Spain, they also bless pet owners on this day.
Keeping you posted!