St. Anthony of Padua and the Bowing Donkey

Dear friend,

Praised be Jesus and Mary!

Happy Fiesta, San Antonio de Padua!

Feast days are not celebrated to worship saints. That is a common misunderstanding. Many non-Catholics thought that we worship saints. No! They are simply role models who showed us that holiness is possible! (I’m not talking further about this because this isn’t the reason why I’m writing this post.)

I write to talk about the amazing story of the bowing donkey. Yes. Bowing. Hehe!  ^^

I know that St. Anthony is the patron saint for things that are lost..but I didn’t know that he was also known to be the “Hammer of Heretics”

When he was still alive, he preached to heretics but a lot of them ridiculed him.

Anthony was sharp tempered.

So when people made fun of him while he was speaking at the port of Romini, he turned towards the sea and spoke to the fishes. The fishes raised their body on top of the water, and opened their mouth and listened to Anthony’s sermon.

There was one man named Bonvillo who challenged St. Anthony,

“You, who hold fish spellbound, let’s see if you can do the same to my mule.” 

The challenge was to make the donkey recognize its Creator. At the agreed day, 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 food. But before this, they would starve the donkey for three days.

Anthony prayed and fasted for three days.

On the third day, Anthony celebrated mass and took out a consecrated Host into the square where both converts and heretics are gathered.

Anthony said to the donkey,

“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 donkey went to St. Anthony. The donkey knelt down to adore the Blessed Sacrament – to adore Jesus.

Bonvillo followed the donkey and bowed in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. All heretics in that region were converted.


Kristine G. Veneracion


*Vigil for St. Anthony in SMOTA


*(image source)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s