This little piggy went to the Vatican, to get a blessing

Italian bishop Guido Pozzo pets a cow in front of the Saint Peter Basilica at the Vatican, during the traditional feast day of Saint Anthony Abbot, the patron saint and protector of animals, on January 17, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)

VATICAN CITY – With an oink oink here and a cluck cluck there, animals arrived at the Vatican on Friday to get a blessing.

The animals, including pigs, chickens, horses, cats and dogs, were at St. Peter's Square to mark the feast of St. Anthony the Abbot, the third-century holy man who is the Catholic Church's patron of animals.

Farmers, ranchers and breeders brought their animals to the square for a blessing by Cardinal Angelo Comastri, the archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica. Comastri also said a Mass inside the church for the humans - the animals waited outside.

As well as the spiritual comfort, veterinarians from the Italian animal breeders association AIA offered free check-ups to pets brought to the square.


    (ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty)


    (ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty)


    (ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty)


    (ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty)