San Antonio Abad, patron saint of animals is celebrated
By Jade Arroyo
Every January 17 in Catholic custom, the day of San Antonio Abad is celebrated. The highlight of this day is the blessing of pets and farm animals.
San Antonio Abad (Egiptian monk born in 251) is considered as the patron saint of the animals, because according to the legend- he was tempted at the desserts by the demon in the shape of different animals. Throughout history, many artists have used this image for their work, picturing the saint as an elder wearing the monk’s robe and with a pig at his feet.
San Miguel people not only take dogs and cats to the church’s atriums, all kinds of animals, some of them very exotic like ferrets or snakes- deserve the blessing of San Antonio Abad. The affection people feel for their companion animals is such that taking them to receive the blessing of the saints is an obligation to them, t guarantee their security and well being. It’s very common seeing farmers taking their horses or cattle for the saint to protect them from dangers or illness. Most of churches offered blessings during the afternoon, like de Parroquia, San Francisco or the church of San Antonio Abad, in colonia San Antonio.