Sat, Feb 01, 2020 - Page 14 News List

The Feast of Saint Anthony

A horseman jumps over a bonfire in the village of San Bartolome de Pinares in the province of Avila in central Spain, during the opening of the traditional religious festival “Luminarias” in honor of San Antonio Abad (Saint Anthony), patron saint of animals, on Jan 16.

Photo: AFP

Saint Anthony was a Christian monk from Egypt, born in Lower Egypt around 251 to wealthy landowner parents. His parents died when he was still a young man, and he gave away his inherited land, sold his property and donated the funds to the poor, before leaving to lead an ascetic life. At one point, he spent time living in the desert, where legend has it he endured temptation by the devil, who plagued him with ideas of boredom, laziness and visions of women. This became the theme, often referred to in Western art and literature, of the temptation of St. Anthony. He is thought to have died on Jan. 17, 356.

In Spain and its former colonies, where he is known as San Anton, St. Anthony is the patron saint of domestic animals. His feast day is celebrated on Jan. 17, the anniversary of his death. On this day, priests perform a traditional ceremony of blessing animals, and large bonfires are lit for the feast in Spain.

(Paul Cooper, Taipei Times)


在西班牙及其前殖民地,聖安東尼被稱為「San Anton」(聖安東),是家畜的主保聖人。聖安東尼的瞻禮日(feast day)為一月十七日,也是聖安東尼去世的紀念日。在這一天,教士為動物舉行傳統的祝福儀式,在西班牙的儀式則包括燃起盛大的營火。


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