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St Francis with the Animals by Lambert de Hondt the Elder and Willem van Herp the Elder

St Francis didn’t think animals were ‘almost’ like us – he loved them because they had come from the hand of God

Benedict XVI accepts a gift of an ivory crucifix from Benin's President Thomas Yayi Boni, who said it was obtained legally (Photo: CNS)

Fr Lombardi says Vatican Radio will engage in fight against poaching

Animals pay a visit to St Peter’s Square

Horses, cows, rabbits and peacocks were among the species present for the traditional blessing of St Anthony at St Peter’s Square