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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