25.8 C
Abuja
Friday, April 3, 2020

Spanish owners head to church with pets for blessing

Dogs, cats, rabbits and even iguanas, many decked out in colourful sweaters to keep warm, trooped into Spanish churches on Sunday for a blessing on the Day of Saint Anthony, patron saint of animals.

Pet-owners lined up around the block of the Church of San Anton in central Madrid to wait for a priest who stood at the entrance of the building to sprinkle holy water on their animals.

“For those of us who are believers we believe it provides health and well-being to the animal as well as their owner,” said 40-year-old waiter Francisco Javier Carvajal Aceves as he waited in line with his 13-month-old Chihuahua Lula cradled in his arms.

“Animals also are beings created by God and deserve to be blessed,” he added as other dogs waiting with their owners barked in the background.

Aceves said he has come to the church every year to have his pets blessed since he moved to Madrid from Mexico 16 years ago.

He dressed his dog in a red and white sweater, while other pet-owners brought their dogs in brightly-coloured coats or with bows in their fur.

One woman brought a grey rabbit inside a red gym bag to be blessed, an elderly man cradled a white dove in his hand and a young man took an iguana in a shoebox.

Blanca, a 54-year-old decorator, waited for half an hour for her turn to have her Labrador Retriever blessed by a priest.

“You always have to wait because a lot of people in Madrid have pets and everyone wants to come to have them blessed,” she said.

“You have to come every year to be blessed so they will live for many more years. A dog, an animal provides great company, gives you much pleasure, they behave better than humans sometimes. If you don’t have a dog you don’t understand.”

After having their pets blessed, the faithful lined up outside a church window to buy bread rolls that were baked according to a secret recipe that keeps them soft.

Each parishioner received three buns, one of which is traditionally kept for a year alongside a coin to ensure work and health and to guarantee the blessing of the saint.

The church celebrated several masses throughout the day in honour of Saint Anthony which were attended by pets and their owners.

The festival has been celebrated in Madrid largely uninterrupted since the 19th century. It is also held in other parts of Spain, such as the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean and the northern city of Burgos.

 

– AFP

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Latest News

Tanzania grants visa extensions for stranded tourists

Tanzania’s immigration department has extended visas for foreign nationals who can't leave the country because of the coronavirus pandemic.Foreign visitors, who applied online, were...

Columbian and Bissau-Guinean drug lords handed record jail terms

A court in Guinea-Bissau has handed record jail terms to two suspects accused of trafficking almost two tonnes of cocaine into the country, the...

Sierra Leone to enter a 3-day lockdown after first 2 coronavirus cases

Sierra Leone is the latest African country to launch a nationwide attack against the deadly coronavirus after two unrelated people tested positive for the...

With 16 deaths, Burkina Faso frees prisoners to stem virus spread

Burkina Faso president Roch Marc Christian Kabore on Thursday pardoned more than 1 200 prisoners in a bid to stem the spread of the...

Over 250 Europe bound migrants rescued in Niger desert, put in quarantine

More than 250 Europe-bound migrants were rescued in Niger's arid north and placed in coronavirus quarantine after being abandoned by traffickers, the International Organisation...

Preliminary results show low turnout in Mali parliamentary election

Official collation of result from Mali's parliamentary elections this week shows a turnout of just 36 percent, according to information from Mali electoral body.Reports...

Kenyan minister condemns mockery of coronavirus survivors online

Kenya’s Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe has criticised Kenyans for their mockery of two Kenyans who recovered from coronavirus.Kenyans online have criticised the announcement of...

Clinic closed in South Africa after nurse catches coronavirus

A clinic in South Africa's largest city, Johannesburg, has been closed after a nurse tested positive for coronavirus.It is thought the health worker contracted...

Nigeria, Chad, Niger announce joint military offensive on Boko Haram jihadists

Nigeria on Thursday said it had launched a "massive" joint offensive with troops from Chad and Niger against jihadists waging a decade-long insurgency in...

Ugandan student in Italy begs for food aid

A Ugandan student in Italy has appealed for food aid from the government in Kampala to help her and other students cope amid the...

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -
%d bloggers like this: