Does your animal need a blessing? Orihuela to celebrate the Patron Saint of Animals, San Anton

Does your animal need a blessing? Orihuela to bless the Patron Saint of Animals, San Anton. Image: Orihuela City Council.

The patron saint of animals, San Anton, is being celebrated in Orihuela on January 15.

The Councillor for Festivities, Antonio Sanchez, has confirmed that the day will begin with a parade around the neighbourhood at 9:00.AM, following which there will be a mass in honour of San Antonio Abad. After the mass, all the animals who head to the church will be blessed.

The councillor said; “There will also be children’s workshops in the hermitage square from 11:00.AM to bring the fiestas closer to the little ones.”

Anthony of Padua, also known as Anthony of Lisbon, was a Portuguese Catholic priest and Franciscan Order friar. He was born in Lisbon to a wealthy family and was one of the most quickly canonized saints in church history, canonized less than a year after his death. He was noted by his contemporaries for his powerful preaching, undying love, devotion to the poor and sick, and expert knowledge of scripture.

It is said that San Anton liked to live surrounded by as many animals as possible, when he finally died, his legend spread like wildfire and many shepherds trusted him to protect their animals. This was the start of the offerings, prayers and subsequent pilgrimages that have come down to the present day.


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Anna Ellis

Originally from the UK, Anna is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]