Vatican Holds Blessing of Animals for Feast of St. Anthony with Traditional Farmer's Day Celebration

Cardinal Mauro Gambetti celebrated the traditional Farmer's Day in the Vatican. The initiative has been promoted for 16 years by the Italian Breeders Association (Aia) and by Coldiretti

The cardinal archpriest Mauro Gambetti, vicar general for Vatican City and president of the Fabbrica di San Pietro, pronounced it at the beginning of the mass on the occasion of the memory of Saint' Antony Abbot, celebrated  in the Basilica of San Peter.

 A historic moment marked "by uncertainties and difficulties that make it difficult to support livestock and cultivation activities in a virtuous way, guaranteeing the right income for farmers and breeders". Furthermore, Gambetti noted, the conflict in Ukraine makes it even more difficult "to safeguard biodiversity, to promote micro and medium-sized enterprises with a view to environmental, social and economic sustainability".

The key to tackling the crisis consists, according to the vicar general for Vatican City, in "learning to read the thought of God in creation and not betraying him". "In fact, the Lord never fails to provide his provident help" and "the fruit of the earth that is transformed into good food that nourishes life is the caress of God". Saint Anthony was not so erudite, but much sought after for his wisdom. He said that in addition to his Scripture, his book was the creation in which he read the thought of God ”.

For the Christian - continued Cardinal Gambetti - it is a question of making room for God in every area of life, as did Anthony the Abbot who left everything to be able to follow the Lord".

The Blessing of the Animals

During the offertory, farm products such as eggs and cheeses were brought to the altar. At the end of the celebration, despite the bad weather, the cardinal attended the conclusion of the parade of horses and riders along Via della Conciliazione and then imparted his blessing to the farmers and animals gathered in Piazza Pio XII, in front of the Basilica: hens, geese , rabbits and specimens typical of the Italian territory such as cows, from Friesian to Chianina; sheep, from Sardinian to sopravvissana; goats, from girgentana to monticellana; horses and donkeys.

Source: Vatican News