CHURCH PET BLESSINGS happen all year around, including Easter. The tradition began in the 4th century, with San Antonio de Abad, the patron saint of the animal kingdom, in a ritual of thanks for beasts of burden.
This week there were special pet blessings by churches across the country, including Los Angeles, Grand Rapids and Dallas.
ON HOOF, FOOT & PAW
In Los Angeles, pets came out on "hoof, foot and paw" for the 81st annual blessing of the animals on Olvera Street, at the cobblestone plaza in downtown L.A. "with the sweet smell of fresh hay and manure," writes Jason Felch, Los Angeles Times.
"There were llamas, goats, geese and sheep. Parakeets, iguanas, goldfish and geckos. Turtles, horses, doves and a 25-pound albino python," wrote Felch. "And there were dogs. Hundreds of dogs. Dogs in tutus, leis and bunny ears. Dogs in bows and ribbons and T-shirts that read "Momma's Boy."