The animals were blessed today in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.
Dozens of beloved pets received a sprinkling of holy water at the annual Benediction of the Beasts, a long-time local tradition.
Monsignor Mark Campbell, Catholic priest of Our Mother of Confidence Parish in University City, administered the blessings. The traditional church ritual, which dates back to ancient times, invokes St. Anthony of the Desert, the Patron Saint of Animals. In the very early years of San Diego, livestock were blessed for an abundant harvest.
I watched for livestock but, alas, didn’t see any.
After today’s blessings, the fun event included a mid-afternoon costume and animal trick contest, which I missed. The male human ritual of watching football could not be violated.
Chopper, the canine motorcyclist, is quite the sensation in San Diego. I must’ve seen him on local television news a dozen times. He’s even made a cameo appearance on TMZ!
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