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Jun 12, 2022 277 Shalom Tidings
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Saintly Musings: All Creatures Know This Truth!

In the twelfth century, the Cathar heresy that denied the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist, was becoming widely accepted. A brilliant Franciscan brother named Anthony argued against this and other heresies of the day. Because Anthony was an excellent speaker endowed with great debating skills, he often took on those who denied the truths of the faith.

One day, during a public debate, a Cathar heretic named Bononillo insisted that only miraculous proof would convince him of Christ’s presence in the Eucharistic host. He proposed that if Anthony could make Bononillo’s mule bow down before the Eucharist, he would believe.

Since no other methods of persuasion worked on this man, Anthony agreed that three days hence they would meet to see if the mule could be made to worship the Body of Christ.

But Bononillo was not an honest man. He decided to stack the deck by starving his mule throughout the three days, convinced that the hungry mule would be so glad to see a bale of hay that he would pay no attention whatsoever to the Eucharist.

On the third day, a large crowd gathered to observe the outcome. Bononillo brought his mule to the town square where Anthony had just celebrated Mass. He placed a bale of tender hay under the mule’s nose expecting him to start feeding. But Anthony held up a consecrated host and called out in a loud voice, “Mule! Come here and give reverence to your Creator!”

Immediately, the mule turned his head and walked toward Anthony. But what happened next was truly shocking: as the mule drew close to the Eucharist, the animal bent its front legs and knelt in adoration!

When Bononillo saw this miraculous behavior, he knelt beside the pious mule and professed his belief in the Real Presence. As a result, many others who had been deceived by the Cathar heresy also came to believe in Christ’s true presence in the Blessed Sacrament.

Brother Anthony is now one of our most popular saints to whom people turn for help with finding lost articles. This dear Saint from Padua is not only the patron of lost articles, but because of his great learning and wisdom, and his love of the gospels, he was declared a Doctor of the Church. We celebrate his feast day on June 13.

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