Miracle of Saint Anthony and the Donkey

Saint Anthony and the Donkey

The Miracle of Saint Anthony and the Donkey


He was called back to Italy to fight heretics, but again God,
writing straight with crooked lines, had another plan as well...Prove
to them, I am with them to the end of time.


He went to Rimini, on the Adriatic Sea, to the southeast of
Padua. He was not faring successfully there.

 

The heretics made fun
of him, and when he spoke of the Eucharist, they became hysterical,
ridiculing him.


St. Anthony was known for his sharp temper.

 

When the heretics
poked fun at him while he spoke at the port of Rimini, he turned
towards the sea, and spoke to the fish.

 

The fish, for their part, raised
their bodies out of the water, and perched, as it were, on top of the
water, listening to the homily given by St. Anthony. When he was
finished, St. Anthony blessed the fish, at which point they returned
to the sea.


The enemies of the Church, on seeing this, were completely
overwhelmed.

 

Word spread throughout the town, and heretics by
the droves were converted.

 

But there was one man, Bonvillo, by
name, who wasn’t impressed with St. Anthony’s persuasive ways.
He said to him, “You, who hold fish spellbound, let’s see if you can
do the same to my mule.”

A challenge was made.

The heretic would
starve his mule for three days.

 

At the end of that time, Saint Anthony
would stand on one end of the square, holding the Eucharist, and
Bonvillo on the other, with a pail of the animal’s favorite fodder.

 

If the mule went to Saint Anthony first, the heretic would stop persecuting
Catholics.


The beast was starved for three days.

 

Saint Anthony fasted and
prayed for three days. On the third day, St. Anthony celebrated Mass at the local church.

 

After the Mass, he took a consecrated Host with
him out into the square.

 

The square was packed with heretics on
one side, and those who had been converted on the other.

 

Bonvillo,
the heretic, had his mule by his side. He tempted the animal with the
pail of fodder that was to be the bait.

 

At the given time, St. Anthony
went to one corner of the square, with the Eucharist in his hand. The
heretic went off to the other side, with the pail of delicious smelling
food in his hands. He tried to lure the mule with the food.
St. Anthony gave the animal a little sermon.

 

He said, “Creature
of God, in His name, I command you to come here to adore Him,
so that it will give truth to all, of the Real Presence of Jesus in the
Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist.”


The mule ignored his owner and the food, and went instead over
to where St. Anthony held the Body of Christ.

 

He knelt down on both
legs, and lowered his head in reverence.

 

When all were convinced
that the Lord had won out over the heretic, Saint Anthony blessed the
mule, who then got up, and proceeded to eat all the fodder in the
pail.


The heretic Bonvillo followed the example of his mule.

 

He went
down on his knees, head bowed to the ground, in adoration of the
Blessed Sacrament.

 

He was converted back to the faith. Before Saint
Anthony left Rimini, he had converted all the heretics in that region.


He was given the title Hammer of the Heretics.

 

It’s not known for
sure if it was given him as a result of the conversions in Rimini, or
simply because he had the reputation of beating down his opponents
into conversion.

 

Poor St. Anthony! For such a brilliant man, and
fervent defender of the faith, he is given the strangest titles. 0 There
is a shrine in Rimini, in honor of the Eucharistic Miracle of Saint
Anthony and the Donkey.




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