Hundreds of people queued yesterday, early in the morning, near the church of San Anton so that their pets received the traditional blessing on their patron’s holiday.
Shortly after nine o’clock in the morning, Father Ángel began spraying the early risers with holy water at the door of the church, on Hortaleza Street, although he planned to begin the blessing ceremony an hour later.
That has been the case of Bat, a dog that, as his owner Alejandra commented, « is like a brother, one of the family » and who participated for the first time in this rite, as if it were « a christening».
Dressed in coats, in carriers, boxes or even in bags, little by little the protagonists of this day were arriving, mostly dogs and cats, although the blessing is open to animals of any species.
It is the case of both turtles Rosario, another neighbor of the capital, who are already habitual because, in their three years of life, is the third time they go with their owner to receive the health promise and protection of San Antón.
Another Madrilenian, Margot, took her five dogs, encouraged by the hope that her animals « are still very well » in health.
Father Ángel recalled that on this date not only the animals are blessed but also « the people who come with them: the owner, the master, the friend. »
Taking advantage of this day, various groups and organizations installed positions in the immediate vicinity of the church, such as the National Friends of Animals Association, which encourages « responsible ownership, adoption versus purchase and animal welfare. » « I think the church is doing a good job in this case because it helps bring everyone together, it is a way to unite for a common good, » said one of these volunteers.