In Bolivia, a mass was celebrated on Saint Roch’s Day, August 16 in El Alto, in honor of this saint. According to his hagiography, this 14th century pilgrim, native of Montpellier, in the south of present-day France, dedicated his life to plague sufferers, even catching it himself. After having retired from the world into the woods, Roch owed his salvation only to a dog who had come to bring him pieces of bread. On many representations (engravings, sculptures, etc.) Saint Roch is represented with a dog by his side. Besides being the patron saint of pilgrims, Saint Roch is also considered the protector of animals, or more specifically the patron saint of dogs.

So, Justino Limachi, a Catholic priest organized a special outdoor event in a small church in El Alto. Pet owners have come to have their dogs and cats blessed.

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