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Disease boosts saint sales

In the Netherlands, farmers are using a patron saint to fight foot-and-mouth disease. In May, sales of St. Anthony statues, a third-century Egyptian who is the patron of cattle, farmers, butchers and brushmakers, had already equaled the number sold last year.

 

The saints are made at the Mavada foundry in Amsterdam, the only business in the country to make the statues, reports Religion News Service.

St. Anthony the Abbot's relationship with livestock is complicated. Skin conditions were sometimes treated with pork fat. Since St. Anthony helped people with such illnesses, ancient artwork often shows him accompanied by a pig.


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