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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Throngs of pet lovers showed up on Los Angeles’ historic Olvera Street on Saturday for the annual “Blessing of the Animals.”

Archbishop José H. Gomez blessed cats, dogs, bunnies, birds, even many reptiles.

Gomez sprinkled holy water on the parade of pets and their human handlers.

An 8 p.m. Easter vigil mass is also planned Saturday at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

“The blessing of the animals is a family event, a time of fun and joy,” said Archbishop Gomez in a written release.

He added, “This blessing also reminds us that Easter brings a ‘new creation.’ The Resurrection of Jesus gives new life to everything, and a new beginning to everything in God’s beautiful creation — birds, animals, everything that God has made in his love.”

The event also featured musical entertainment and a special dog training class sponsored by a local SPCA.

The archbishop is  expected to participate in a Spanish-language Easter mass on Sunday afternoon at 12:30 p.m.

Additional sermons will also be held at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. in English, and will be followed by a bilingual mass at 2:30 p.m., according to the news release.


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