Blessing of the animals on St. Anthony's Day

Yahoo News Photo Staff

The feast of St. Anthony, Spain’s patron saint of animals, is celebrated each year. On that day, pet owners bring their pets to churches to be blessed.

On the eve of St. Anthony’s Day, riders guide their horses through a bonfire in the village of San Bartolome de Pinares as part of the Luminarias ritual in honor of St. Anthony the Abbot. This 500-year-old tradition is meant to purify the animals with the smoke of the bonfires and to protect them for the year. (AP/Reuters)

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<p>The hand of Santiago Fulero, Major priest of the Saint Pablo church, blesses people with their pets outside of the church, during the feast of St. Anthony, Spain’s patron saint of animals, in Zaragoza, northern Spain, Wednesday, Jan.17, 2018. (Photo: Alvaro Barrientos/AP) </p>
Blessing of the animals on St. Anthony’s Day

The hand of Santiago Fulero, Major priest of the Saint Pablo church, blesses people with their pets outside of the church, during the feast of St. Anthony, Spain’s patron saint of animals, in Zaragoza, northern Spain, Wednesday, Jan.17, 2018. (Photo: Alvaro Barrientos/AP)

<p>A woman holds up a turtle to be blessed with other pets outside of the Saint Pablo church, during the feast of St. Anthony, Spain’s patron saint of animals, in Zaragoza, northern Spain, Wednesday, Jan.17, 2018. (Photo: Alvaro Barrientos/AP) </p>
Blessing of the animals on St. Anthony’s Day

A woman holds up a turtle to be blessed with other pets outside of the Saint Pablo church, during the feast of St. Anthony, Spain’s patron saint of animals, in Zaragoza, northern Spain, Wednesday, Jan.17, 2018. (Photo: Alvaro Barrientos/AP)

<p>Santiago Fulero, Major priest of the Saint Pablo church, blesses people with their pets outside of the church, during the feast of St. Anthony, Spain’s patron saint of animals, in Zaragoza, northern Spain, Wednesday, Jan.17, 2018. (Photo: Alvaro Barrientos/AP) </p>
Blessing of the animals on St. Anthony’s Day

Santiago Fulero, Major priest of the Saint Pablo church, blesses people with their pets outside of the church, during the feast of St. Anthony, Spain’s patron saint of animals, in Zaragoza, northern Spain, Wednesday, Jan.17, 2018. (Photo: Alvaro Barrientos/AP)

<p>Father Angel (L), parish priest of San Anton Church blesses a dog during the celebrations of San Anton in Madrid, Spain on Jan. 17, 2018. (Photo: Fernando Alvarado/EFE via ZUMA Press) </p>
Blessing of the animals on St. Anthony’s Day

Father Angel (L), parish priest of San Anton Church blesses a dog during the celebrations of San Anton in Madrid, Spain on Jan. 17, 2018. (Photo: Fernando Alvarado/EFE via ZUMA Press)

<p>A sculpture of Saint Pablo is carried beside people with their pets outside of Saint Pablo church, during the feast of St. Anthony, Spain’s patron saint of animals, in Zaragoza, northern Spain, Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. (Photo: Alvaro Barrientos/AP) </p>
Blessing of the animals on St. Anthony’s Day

A sculpture of Saint Pablo is carried beside people with their pets outside of Saint Pablo church, during the feast of St. Anthony, Spain’s patron saint of animals, in Zaragoza, northern Spain, Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. (Photo: Alvaro Barrientos/AP)

<p>A dog and a parrot are about to be blessed during the celebrations of Sant Antoni del Porquet in Valencia, eastern Spain, Jan. 17, 2018. (Photo: Juan Carlos Cardenas/EFE via ZUMA Press) </p>
Blessing of the animals on St. Anthony’s Day

A dog and a parrot are about to be blessed during the celebrations of Sant Antoni del Porquet in Valencia, eastern Spain, Jan. 17, 2018. (Photo: Juan Carlos Cardenas/EFE via ZUMA Press)

<p>A priest blesses a dog outside San Anton Church in Madrid, Spain, Jan. 17, 2018. (Photo: Susana Vera/Reuters) </p>
Blessing of the animals on St. Anthony’s Day

A priest blesses a dog outside San Anton Church in Madrid, Spain, Jan. 17, 2018. (Photo: Susana Vera/Reuters)

<p>Two-year-old cat “Onis” waits to be blessed by a priest outside San Anton Church in Madrid, Spain, Jan. 17, 2018. (Photo: Susana Vera/Reuters) </p>
Blessing of the animals on St. Anthony’s Day

Two-year-old cat “Onis” waits to be blessed by a priest outside San Anton Church in Madrid, Spain, Jan. 17, 2018. (Photo: Susana Vera/Reuters)

<p>A priest anoints a dog at the San Anton church during the feast of Saint Anthony, Spain’s patron saint of animals, in Madrid, Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. (Photo: Paul White/AP) </p>
Blessing of the animals on St. Anthony’s Day

A priest anoints a dog at the San Anton church during the feast of Saint Anthony, Spain’s patron saint of animals, in Madrid, Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. (Photo: Paul White/AP)

<p>Three-year-old dog “Vullet” poses for a portrait before being blessed by a priest outside San Anton Church in Madrid, Spain, Jan. 17, 2018. (Photo: Susana Vera/Reuters) </p>
Blessing of the animals on St. Anthony’s Day

Three-year-old dog “Vullet” poses for a portrait before being blessed by a priest outside San Anton Church in Madrid, Spain, Jan. 17, 2018. (Photo: Susana Vera/Reuters)

<p>A priest prepares to anoint a small bird at the San Anton church during the feast of Saint Anthony, Spain’s patron saint of animals, in Madrid, Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. (Photo: Paul White/AP) </p>
Blessing of the animals on St. Anthony’s Day

A priest prepares to anoint a small bird at the San Anton church during the feast of Saint Anthony, Spain’s patron saint of animals, in Madrid, Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. (Photo: Paul White/AP)

<p>A card with the icona of Saint Anthony Abbot, the patron saint and protector of animals, is seen on the head of a horse in front of the Saint Peter Basilica at the Vatican, during the traditional feast day of blessing for the animals all over Italy, on Jan. 17, 2018. (Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Blessing of the animals on St. Anthony’s Day

A card with the icona of Saint Anthony Abbot, the patron saint and protector of animals, is seen on the head of a horse in front of the Saint Peter Basilica at the Vatican, during the traditional feast day of blessing for the animals all over Italy, on Jan. 17, 2018. (Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>A priest anoints a dog at the San Anton church during the feast of Saint Anthony, Spain’s patron saint of animals, in Madrid, Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. (Photo: Paul White/AP) </p>
Blessing of the animals on St. Anthony’s Day

A priest anoints a dog at the San Anton church during the feast of Saint Anthony, Spain’s patron saint of animals, in Madrid, Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. (Photo: Paul White/AP)

<p>People and their pets sit listen to a mass at San Anton Church in Madrid, Spain, Jan. 17, 2018. (Photo: Susana Vera/Reuters) </p>
Blessing of the animals on St. Anthony’s Day

People and their pets sit listen to a mass at San Anton Church in Madrid, Spain, Jan. 17, 2018. (Photo: Susana Vera/Reuters)

<p>Dogs stand on the street after being blessed by a priest outside San Anton Church in Madrid, Spain, Jan. 17, 2018. (Photo: Susana Vera/Reuters) </p>
Blessing of the animals on St. Anthony’s Day

Dogs stand on the street after being blessed by a priest outside San Anton Church in Madrid, Spain, Jan. 17, 2018. (Photo: Susana Vera/Reuters)

<p>A priest blesses a dog during the celebrations of Sant Antoni del Porquet in Valencia, eastern Spain, Jan.17, 2018. (Photo: Juan Carlos Cardenas/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock) </p>
Blessing of the animals on St. Anthony’s Day

A priest blesses a dog during the celebrations of Sant Antoni del Porquet in Valencia, eastern Spain, Jan.17, 2018. (Photo: Juan Carlos Cardenas/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

<p>People wait with their pets inside Saint Pablo church to receive blessings during the feast of St. Anthony, Spain’s patron saint of animals, in Zaragoza, northern Spain, Wednesday, Jan.17, 2018. (Photo: Alvaro Barrientos/AP) </p>
Blessing of the animals on St. Anthony’s Day

People wait with their pets inside Saint Pablo church to receive blessings during the feast of St. Anthony, Spain’s patron saint of animals, in Zaragoza, northern Spain, Wednesday, Jan.17, 2018. (Photo: Alvaro Barrientos/AP)

<p>A pet tries to take a piece of bread outside Saint Pablo church, during the feast of St. Anthony, Spain’s patron saint of animals, in Zaragoza, northern Spain, Wednesday, Jan.17, 2018. (Photo: Alvaro Barrientos/AP) </p>
Blessing of the animals on St. Anthony’s Day

A pet tries to take a piece of bread outside Saint Pablo church, during the feast of St. Anthony, Spain’s patron saint of animals, in Zaragoza, northern Spain, Wednesday, Jan.17, 2018. (Photo: Alvaro Barrientos/AP)

<p>A woman holds up her pet inside Saint Pablo church, during the feast of St. Anthony, Spain’s patron saint of animals, in Zaragoza, northern Spain, Wednesday, Jan.17, 2018. (Photo: Alvaro Barrientos/AP) </p>
Blessing of the animals on St. Anthony’s Day

A woman holds up her pet inside Saint Pablo church, during the feast of St. Anthony, Spain’s patron saint of animals, in Zaragoza, northern Spain, Wednesday, Jan.17, 2018. (Photo: Alvaro Barrientos/AP)

<p>A pet is carried into Saint Pablo church during the feast of St. Anthony, Spain’s patron saint of animals, in Zaragoza, northern Spain, Wednesday, Jan.17, 2018. (Photo: Alvaro Barrientos/AP) </p>
Blessing of the animals on St. Anthony’s Day

A pet is carried into Saint Pablo church during the feast of St. Anthony, Spain’s patron saint of animals, in Zaragoza, northern Spain, Wednesday, Jan.17, 2018. (Photo: Alvaro Barrientos/AP)

<p>Maremma cattle are led through St. Peter’s Square during the blessing of the animals for the feast of Sant’Antonio Abate, patron saint of animals, in Rome, Italy on Jan 17, 2018. (Photo: Fabio Frustaci/Eidon Press via ZUMA Press) </p>
Blessing of the animals on St. Anthony’s Day

Maremma cattle are led through St. Peter’s Square during the blessing of the animals for the feast of Sant’Antonio Abate, patron saint of animals, in Rome, Italy on Jan 17, 2018. (Photo: Fabio Frustaci/Eidon Press via ZUMA Press)

<p>A man rides a horse through flames during the annual “Luminarias” celebration on the eve of Saint Anthony’s day, Spain’s patron saint of animals, in the village of San Bartolome de Pinares, northwest of Madrid, Spain, Jan. 16, 2018. (Photo: Juan Medina/Reuters) </p>
Blessing of the animals on St. Anthony’s Day

A man rides a horse through flames during the annual “Luminarias” celebration on the eve of Saint Anthony’s day, Spain’s patron saint of animals, in the village of San Bartolome de Pinares, northwest of Madrid, Spain, Jan. 16, 2018. (Photo: Juan Medina/Reuters)

<p>A horse stands by a tree before the ritual in honor of Saint Anthony the Abbot in San Bartolome de Pinares, Spain, Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. (Photo: Francisco Seco/AP) </p>
Blessing of the animals on St. Anthony’s Day

A horse stands by a tree before the ritual in honor of Saint Anthony the Abbot in San Bartolome de Pinares, Spain, Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. (Photo: Francisco Seco/AP)

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