God bless 'em

God bless 'em

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Jan. 17 is the feast day of Saint Anthony the abbot, patron saint of domestic animals. This means that, for some, it is also Take Your Pet to Church Day.

In Xochimilco, on the outskirts of Mexico City, a number of believers celebrated Saint Anthony's holy day by bringing their pets to be blessed by a priest.

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Pet-owners wait with dogs and birds before receiving blessings.
. Xochimilco, Mexico. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

Pet-owners wait with dogs and birds before receiving blessings.

A group of people stand with their pets as a priest reads out a blessing.
. Xochimilco, Mexico. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

A group of people stand with their pets as a priest reads out a blessing.

A priest blesses a dog, as a chicken waits next in line.
. Xochimilco, Mexico. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

A priest blesses a dog, as a chicken waits next in line.

The priest individually blesses an iguana.
. Xochimilco, Mexico. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

The priest individually blesses an iguana.

A girl and her pet turtles wait for their turn.
. Xochimilco, Mexico. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

A girl and her pet turtles wait for their turn.

A couple and their daughter wait with their dog for a blessing.
. Xochimilco, Mexico. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

A couple and their daughter wait with their dog for a blessing.