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This little piggy went to the Vatican, to get a blessing

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[January 18, 2014]  VATICAN CITY (Reuters)  With an oink oink here and a cluck cluck there, animals arrived at the Vatican on Friday to get a blessing.

The animals, including pigs, chickens, horses, cats and dogs, were at St. Peter's Square to mark the feast of St. Anthony the Abbot, the third-century holy man who is the Catholic Church's patron of animals.

Farmers, ranchers and breeders brought their animals to the square for a blessing by Cardinal Angelo Comastri, the archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica. Comastri also said a Mass inside the church for the humans  the animals waited outside.

As well as the spiritual comfort, veterinarians from the Italian animal breeders association AIA offered free check-ups to pets brought to the square.

(Reporting by Philip Pullella; editing by Janet Lawrence)

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