He definitely didn't make it alone to St. Peter's Square though. Italian horses, donkeys, cows, rabbits, chickens and more, made it here with a clear objective.
"Today we brought our bull and all our animals to St. Peter's Square, so they could be blessed. We're hoping our animals will have a fruitful and healthy year.”
There's no doubt, today it was all about the animals. In fact even the heavy traffic that usually covers the street that leads to the Vatican, was replaced by a parade of horses.
Cardenal Angelo Comastri, the archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica, led the celebration and officially blessed the animals. The cold and rainy weather wasn't ideal, but still, there were no regrets.
Italian Farmer's Association (AIA)
"We came to St. Peter to receive the blessing of Cardinal Comastri. We've come here for several years now and will continue to come in the future, despite the weather. Some years we've enjoyed the sun, but today it was rainy and cold.”
So even though the attention was on the animals, the saint who inspired the event was also honored. St. Anthony died in the 4th century, but still more than 1700 years later, he's remembered as a great protector of animals...and proof of that was quite clear in St. Peter's Square.
OFL @ odelafu /KLH