VATICAN CITY - 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.