CALL him Saint Anthony Abbot, San Anton Abad or Sant Antoni del Porquet, but he’s still the patron saint of animals.
He is frequently pictured with a pig, hence his name of Sant Antoni del Porquet in the Valencian Region.
The saint was born in Egypt in the third century AD, and as well as being revered for his ascetic and holy way of life, he was also known to love animals. Livestock and pets were blessed on his January 17 feast day, the one time they were allowed inside Spanish churches.
Although livestock was less in evidence last weekend, Spanish and foreign residents turned out in force so that pets and animals could receive the traditional blessing to keep them safe for another year.