Barnyard bedlam in St Peter's Square

St Peter's Square was transformed into a mooing, squaking and neighing barnyard as the Feast of St Anthony the Abbot was celebrated in the peaceful confines of the Basilica.

Catholic News Service reports Cardinal Angelo Comastri blessed several dozen animals to mark the feast day of the patron saint of an Italian association of farmers who attended the mass.

St. Anthony died in Egypt in 356.

Cardinal Comastri blessed a donkey and her baby, a water buffalo and her calf, a skittish ostrich, a large white boar, rabbits and baby bunnies, hens and geese, milk cows, a horse and a steer, sheep, lambs and goats.

The Vatican set up 14 sturdy stalls in the square for most of the four-legged critters and the ostrich. The bunnies and fowl were in spacious cages.

Along with black rubber buckets for water and feed, the Vatican also moved a few large dumpsters into the square, for obvious purposes.

Barnyard bedlam? Animals take center stall in St. Peter's Square (Catholic News Service 17/01/08)

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St Anthony the Abbot

18 Jan 2008