During the 13th century St. Anthony of
was reported to have converted a hardened
heretic through a rather unique contest. Padua
"The heretic, by the name of Bononillo, was unmoved by the reasoning of the "hammer of heretics," as
St. Anthony was called. Bononillo was as stubborn as the
mule that stood beside him. Eyeing the mule, Anthony made an offer to Bononillo.
He asked him whether he would give up his heresy if the mule were to bow down
and adore its Creator present in the Blessed Sacrament. The heretic answered he
would, provided he could lay down certain conditions: for two days the mule was
not to be fed, and on the third day it was to be led into the public square. On
one side of the square would be placed a tempting pile of fresh feed, on the
opposite side Anthony could stand with what Bononillo contemptuously called the
"body of Christ."
Anthony agreed, but in all humility made one condition. If the animal did not kneel before the Blessed Sacrament, Anthony's sins alone were to be blamed. The day arrived for this strange contest and the square was crowded with people. When the derisive Bononillo arrived with his half-starved mule, he was fully confident that his mule had sense and appetite enough to go after the feed. But he was wrong.
Anthony had implored his Lord in the intervening two days for the soul of this heretic. God did not let his faithful servant down. When turned loose, the mule without the least hesitation advanced towards Anthony and knelt in an attitude of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. With much emotion and contrition the heretic too fell on his knees and gave up his heresy. As wonderful as these miracles are - the greatest of all, transubstantiation, has to be viewed with the eyes of faith."
St Anthony of Padua
Italy ~ 1195-1231
Franciscan Priest, Orator, Wonder worker
DOCTOR of the CHURCH
"Hammer of the Heretics"~ "Ark of the Testament"
Patron of the Poor, Patron of Lost articles
FEAST DAY - June 13
"Earthly riches are like the reed. Its roots are sunk in the swamp,
and its exterior is fair to behold; but inside it is hollow.
If a man leans on such a reed, it will snap off and pierce his soul."
- St. Anthony of
Pope Pius XII named St. Anthony a Doctor of the Universal Church, that is, one of the great Christian teachers of all time—and a renowned preacher of God’s word. In fact, Anthony was such a famous preacher that in 1228—at age 33—he was invited to preach before Pope Gregory IX. Afterwards, the pope called Anthony the “
of the Testament.” Anthony revealed such a
grasp of God’s word that, in the eyes of the pope, he seemed to “contain” within himself the
whole of Sacred Scripture. Ark
St Anthony of Padua, pray for us!