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

VATICAN CITY Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:51am EST

1 of 3. A traditional Sicilian chariot with a horse is seen in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican January 17, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Stefano Rellandini

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VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - 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.

(Reporting By Philip Pullella; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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