Priests Bless Pets During the Feast of San Anton in Spain

Every dog has his day, and during the feast of San Anton in Spain, thousands of furry friends get their moment in the sun.

Many Catholic churches in Spain honor San Anton (St. Antonio Abad), the patron saint of animals, with a feast on Jan. 17.

During the celebration, people flock to churches so their animals can receive a special blessing. Attendees bring everything from house pets to work or farm animals so priests can perform a special prayer on them using holy water.

The feast celebrations often are marked by their use of demon figures and bonfires.

Madrid is a famous headquarters for Spain's tradition, although other regions throughout the country also take part.

Mexico holds a similar celebration known as the San Antonio Abad Fiestas.

San Anton was known for having animals instinctively surround him during his lifetime, which led to the tradition of the blessings.

Many believe the the priest's prayer ensures a long and healthy life for their animals.