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The animals praise and glorify God
inasmuch as they assist man and serve him.
In their own way
they assist man in attaining his ultimate goal,
and for that reason the Church blesses them.
In her blessing
the church commends these animals
to St. Anthony the hermit,
who from the earliest times
was regarded as the patron of farmers
and animal breeders.
The following prayers can be used when the animals
are placed in harness for the first time.
O God, our refuge and strength,
the source of our devotion,
hear the devout prayers of the Church,
grant that what we ask in faith
we may obtain in fact.
Almighty, eternal God,
who didst test glorious Saint Anthony the hermit
in many temptations
and didst grant him
to go forth untouched
by the seductions of this world:
grant us Thy servants
to make progress in virtue by his example
and to be freed from the dangers of this life
by his merits and intercession.
May these animals, O Lord,
receive Thy blessing;
may they be sound in body and,
by the intercession of Saint Anthony the hermit,
may they be preserved from all evil.
Through Christ our Lord.
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