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. Amen.
Translated by Most Reverend J. H. Schlarman Bishop of Peoria
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers, works, joys and sufferings, all that this day may bring, be they good or bad: for the love of God, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for all the sins committed against the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. continue reading
In the centuries old Catholic tradition, holy cards or prayer cards are small, devotional cards for the use of the faithful. Prayer cards have an endless amount of use and make wonderful gifts and keepsakes.