The first Sunday after January 17th, the day on which is celebrated the feast of St. Anthony Abbot, animals of all kinds, machine for working the land or other, pour into the streets of Santa Maria degli Angeli to participate in the procession in the honor of St. Anthony and then receive the solemn blessing on the square of the Basilica.
History and traditions of the celebration
In Santa Maria degli Angeli, a transit route existed for postal postillions between Florence and Rome, where there was a station for changing horses. After 1860 a serious epidemic struck and infected the horses of these stables. The worried owners, confidently turned to St. Anthony Abbot, patron of animals, praying to the religious order of the Porziuncola to make a Triduum in honor of the Saint, giving gratitude for obtaining grace with the end of the disease and warding off the danger of the horses dying. A procession through the streets of the town and lunch was distributed for the poor, taking the name of “Dish of St.Anthony”.