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Olvera Street’s 84th Blessing of the Animals takes place Saturday

Hundreds of pet owners are expected at the annual Blessing of the Animals on Olvera Street.
(Barbara Davidson/Los Angeles Times)

Hundreds of pet owners are expected to attend Saturday’s 84th annual Blessing of the Animals in downtown Los Angeles.

The event is “held in grateful recognition of the tremendous services given to the human race by the animal kingdom,” church officials said. The free event takes place from noon to 5 p.m. on Olvera Street.

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The ceremony dates back to the 4th century, when San Antonio De Abad was named the patron saint of the animal kingdom and began to bless animals to promote good health. Saturday’s event will include musical entertainment, dog training seminars, reptile showcases, arts and crafts and an elaborate afternoon procession down Olvera Street led by a cow covered with a blanket of flowers.

After the procession, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez will individually bless each animal that attends. Past years have seen parakeets, pythons, pigs, and even goldfish.

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“The blessing of the animals is a family event, a time of fun and joy,” said Archbishop Gomez. “This blessing also reminds us that Easter brings a ‘new creation.’ The Resurrection of Jesus gives new life to everything, and a new beginning to everything in God’s beautiful creation — birds, animals, everything that God has made in his love.”

At 8 p.m., the archbishop will celebrate the Easter Vigil Mass in the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 555 W. Temple Street.

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frank.shyong@latimes.com

Twitter: @frankshyong


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