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Rome Reports

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St. Peter's Square turns into a farm for feast of St. Anthony the Abbot


St. Peter's Square was transformed into a mini farm with cows, rabbits, sheep and chickens. It even finished off with a horse parade to celebrate St. Anthony the Abbot, the patron saint of animals.

For 12 years, livestock farmers from various regions of Italy, have brought their animals to the Vatican to receive the blessing.

"I am here because today is the feast of St. Anthony, the protector of animals. It's an honor to come to Rome, to St. Peter's Square today because he is also our protector. St. Anthony not only protects the animals, but even the cattle rancher."

"We are here for St. Anthony. I brought a calf as a representative of the marchigiana breed of cattle. " "It's exciting to receive the blessing here in St. Peter's. We hope it brings us good luck."

This year Cardinal Angelo Comastri imparted the blessing to each of the animals present.

The tourists who were visiting the square were surprised to see the animals. Several stopped to take pictures with them or even pet them. 

"We live in the city and we do not see this kind of thing. So for us and for my children, it's something very nice to see."

"For example, there were many species that I had never heard of. I did not know that there was a cow from Italy that is very similar to that from Argentina. It is very good to know and learn about everything."

During the fair, farmers also remembered the suffering and consequences many of their neighbors endured as a result of the earthquake that struck the center of Italy two years ago.