Just before Easter, animals from all around Los Angeles walked, trotted or were carried to Olvera Street and received blessings from the Archbishop Jose H. Gomez. All kinds of animals, from dogs to birds to cattle to pigs to snakes, passed by the archbishop's dais on March 31 and received a sprinkling of holy water.
This has been an Olvera Street tradition since it was founded in 1930, but the blessing of animals dates back much further, to the tradition of blessing animals during the 4th century. Nowadays, the pets and their human companions don't need to be Catholic to receive the blessings, and the event itself is something of an animal party.
Of course, animals are found throughout many Bible verses, but perhaps the most relevant for this event is Proverbs 12:10. It says that one of the signs of the righteous man is that he cares for his animals. While the verse almost certainly referred to livestock, extending it to pets doesn't seem like much of a leap.
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