St. Anthony and the blessings of horses and pigs

Speaking of pigs, once upon a time in Velletri, the main city of of the Suburbicarian Diocese of Velletri-Segni, at the Church of St. Anthony the Abbot, I did on this day outside the homonymous church stand in cassock, surplice, stole and biretta and I blessed pigs and horses.

I found a photo page of this event in Velletri.

The photos are not of the year I did this, but they are from Velletri, depicting the same event in another year.

Deus, qui beato Antonio abbati
tribuisti mira tibi in deserto conversatione servire,
eius nobis interventione concede,
ut, abnegantes nosmetipsos,
te iugiter super omnia diligamus

Anyone want to take a crack at this?  Be a little careful with that second line.

“But Father! But Father!”, you may be asking, “Why pigs?  Are you against Islam?  You hate Vatican II, donchyu donchyou!”

The iconography of St. Anthony the Abbot, or Anthony of the Dessert often includes a pig!

Catholics are very cool.

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  1. I’m convinced part of the reason we are drowning in a sea of iniquity in these days is because we dumped the Rituale Romanum. [Do I hear an “Amen!”?] We stopped taking our everyday items out from under the dominion of Satan, and we stopped asking for God’s blessings and protection. St. Alphonsus Liguori says there are many graces that God will not give us unless we ask for them.

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  2. NBW says:

    @Miss Anita Moore: AMEN!!!!

  3. acardnal says:

    I’ve never had St. Anthony as a “dessert” but I’m sure he tastes as delicious as pork!

  4. Deus, qui beato Antonio abbati
    tribuisti mira tibi in deserto conversatione servire,
    eius nobis interventione concede,
    ut, abnegantes nosmetipsos,
    te iugiter super omnia diligamus

    O God, Who didst bestow upon blessed Anthony the Abbot the gift of rendering Thee service in the desert in wonderful fellowship with Thee, grant us by his intercession that we, denying ourselves, may evermore love Thee above all things.

  5. AnAmericanMother says:

    Two very different types of horse – the somewhat stolid coldbloods for carrying large flapping banners, and the hot little horses for what looks like a form of tilting –
    Father, what are they trying to spear with those little short hand-held pointy things? A ring, or hitting a target like a quintain?
    It looks considerably harder than trying to hit a polo ball!

  6. msc says:

    Slavishly literal: “O God, you who allowed the blessed abbot Antony to be subject to [perhaps “gratify”] you by his miraculous conversion in the desert, grant to us by his intervention that, denying ourselves, we might cherish you perpetually above all things.”
    I don’t see a pig there, but that’s a nice rabbit.

  7. Vecchio di Londra says:

    OK, here goes:
    “Oh God, who granted the blessed abbot Anthony to serve You with his wondrous life in the desert, give us through his mediation the grace to deny ourselves, so that we may love You always above all things.”

    What a marvellous saint – the patron of facing and fighting the illusions sent by the devil.
    And fighting them head-on, what’s more.
    We might think of him as the original Cultural Warrior!

  8. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    I wonder if Dali was alluding to this tradition or something like it in the 1946 Temptation of St. Anthony you referenced the other day – with what would bless a real horse having the demonic appearance (with reversed shoes!) shying and reeling backward?

  9. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Also perhaps worth recalling in this context is St. Jerome’s account of two of St. Anthony’s encounters in the desert on his way to visit St. Paul the Hermit, the first (ch. 7) being with “a creature of mingled shape, half horse half man, called by the poets Hippocentaur. At the sight of this he arms himself by making on his forehead the sign of salvation, and then exclaims, “Holloa! Where in these parts is a servant of God living?” The monster after gnashing out some kind of outlandish utterance, in words broken rather than spoken through his bristling lips, at length finds a friendly mode of communication, and extending his right hand points out the way desired. Then with swift flight he crosses the spreading plain and vanishes from the sight of his wondering companion. But whether the devil took this shape to terrify him, or whether it be that the desert which is known to abound in monstrous animals engenders that kind of creature also, we cannot decide.”

    The second (in a chapter – 8 – deserving to be read in full), says, “I am a mortal being and one of those inhabitants of the desert whom the Gentiles deluded by various forms of error worship under the names of Fauns, Satyrs, and Incubi. I am sent to represent my tribe. We pray you in our behalf to entreat the favour of your Lord and ours, who, we have learned, came once to save the world, and ‘whose sound has gone forth into all the earth.'”

  10. stephen c says:

    The word conversatione in line 2- is that related maybe to the “sacra conversazione” paintings where Mary, Joseph, and Jesus are painted in some bucolic setting discussing some subject with a later born saint (the only one I have seen in person is Lorenzo Lotto’s from Vienna, with Saint Catherine and another saint, I think, but I have seen a few more in books, none with Saint Anthony, though)? Or was Saint Anthony given a privilege to miraculously convert souls, or convert marvelous creatures, by prayer? Or both?

  11. Minnesotan from Florida says:

    It seems that the “1973 ICEL” – that is, the prayer found in my wife’s 1976 “Christian Prayer – The Liturgy of the Hours” – is reasonably good. (A fairly rare example of “dynamic
    equivalence” doing fairly well what was I assume intended of it.)

    I am fascinated that Saint Anthony is thought perhaps to have lived 106 years, making him a good intercessor, along with Saint Alphonsus and Saint Raymond (who happen to come to mind), for people “hoping for long life and length of days” (as to which may God’s will, not mine, be done).

  12. Rich says:

    Now, what we really need is a picture of St. Anthony blessing a pig on a bridge.

  13. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Did anybody else see the pictures of the town in Spain that has bonfires for St. Anthony’s Day? And they ride the horses through the bonfires, a la Nouruz, Mayday, and other similar bonfire parties?

    San Bartolomeo de las Pinares is the name of the town. Man, why don’t our parishes do cool stuff like this in honor of our patron saints and church festivals!?

  14. Therese says:

    Was going to give this a shot, but I come late to the party and RomeontheRange has nailed it anyway. Hear, hear, Miss Anita Moore!

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