Health and Prosperity for Our Pets

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By Karla Ortiz

Every January 17, animal lovers go to the church of the Oratorio to have their animals blessed. This day is celebrated as San Antonio de Abad Day, for the patron saint of all veterinarians. According to tradition, the blessing will protect the animals from all evil or disease, giving them health for the whole year.

The blessing is done outside the church. Although it is not a special mass for San Antonio Abad, the animals come and receive the blessing with holy water. Then the owners leave a donation. Last Wednesday, the atrium of the temple of the Oratorio received cats, dogs, pigeons, canaries, fish, turtles, among other pets, and farm animals.

San Antonio Abad was an Egyptian, the son of wealthy peasants. It is believed that he sold all his belongings to give the money to the poor, following the word of the Lord: “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all that you have and give it to the poor.” He lived apart from the people and went into the desert in search of solitude. He helped and protected other pilgrims he met along the way. He later set up his residence in the cemeteries. People began to believe in him and he attracted several followers. With them, he founded various communities of prayer and work, according to biblical sources.

Here is a fragment of the prayer for the pets:

 

Heavenly Lord, Father Creator of all things,

Today I want to ask for your mercy and compassion for my pet,

and through the mediation of San Antonio Abad,

also called San Anton, the great protector of animals,

who has so much love for these creatures,

I beg you never to abandon him.

Grant him health, that he may not suffer,

don’t let him be sad, don’t let him lack strength,

don’t let him to feel either pain or anguish,

don’t let him feel lonely,

and always have someone by his side to take care of him with love.

By the power of your love,

Allow … (mascot’s name)

live happily ever after,

and have everything you want him to have.

 

Amen.

 

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