Fortunately, Father Gregory is not allergic to dog hair. The parish priest of Chesnay-Rocquencourt parish had to bless about sixty pets this Saturday afternoon during an original event. Every year on the occasion of St. Anthony of Padua (which falls this Monday), this town near Versailles organizes a blessing for dogs, cats or rabbits, in a nod to the Holy Protector of Animals.
We rush to the foot of the maple that shades the square of Our Lady of the Resurrection, her four-legged friend in her arms. A few seconds of caress, the sign of the priest’s cross and here is the faithful blessed companion. “My pussy has been attacked in the neighborhood twice. So I hope she will be protected now, ”Véronique says very seriously about Rosalie, whom she holds in her arms.
An original celebration and a meeting between the inhabitants
Unsurprisingly, we come across a lot of dogs in the queue. Big, small, tiny and a molossus that was not expected to be encountered here, in the chic and clean streets of the Chesnay. “When I arrived, there was a small setback,” said Erwin, accompanied by his American staff. No need to call on the Lord to protect the muscular dog. But the 30-year-old would like “divine goodness” to accompany his companion. “I’m alone and it’s true that an animal is an amazing companion, it’s just affection.” »
A little further on, Odette draws smiles and has fun. In the arms of Charles and Henry, two young children, this red hen is about to pass under the protective hand of the priest. “We come every time,” said Father François-Xavier. The previous time we had brought our two hens and our rabbit. We come for the atmosphere and to thank the Lord. »
There have been more unexpected, in recent years: a turtle, a ladybug (the beast to God), a guinea pig (which the blessing has not saved from the disease), ponies (arrived on foot in the rues du Chesnay)… This is always an occasion for an original party and a meeting between these inhabitants. It is also indicative of a time when these companions became indispensable remedies for loneliness. “Look, there are a lot of seniors,” said Father Gregory. For all, animals represent love, affection. In this, we deserve divine attention and protection. After all, it also faces the countryside. Sheep flocks, hunting carts, and farm animals are blessed. »