Dressed in their Sunday best, hundreds of Peruvian pets attend mass and get a special blessing .

The annual tradition honors St. Francis of Assissi, the saint who is revered for his simplicity, humility and love of nature.

As she held her Chihuahua dressed in pink, Angelica Aire said she believed the pets deserved to be blessed, just as much as people.

SOUNDBITE: Church goer Angelica Aire saying (Spanish):

"I brought Florcita (Little Flower) to be blessed because it's Saint Francis of Assisi day. He's been the patron saint of all the little animals. They're like human beings, perhaps better than us, they're more loving, faithful and they are thankful."

Juana Vargas said her cat, Gringo, was excited by being among the crowd of animals.

SOUNDBITE: Church goer Juana Vargas saying (Spanish):

"I feel good and, besides, it's something new. She's already been blessed. She's calmer now, she's calm but it's emotional to see so many animals."

The feast day of St. Francis, Pope Francis' namesake, was Friday October 4th.

 

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