Stories & Legends
How a Mule ‘Adored’ the Blessed Sacrament
The Almighty God made use of a brute beast to reprove the folly of those who reject the mystery of the Real Presence. In the time of St. Anthony of Padua, there lived in Tolosa, a city of Spain, a very obstinate heretic, Bovillus by name, who denied the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. Although St. Anthony compelled him to acknowledge interiorly the truth of this doctrine, he persisted in his heresy.
At last he professed the willingness to believe, provided he should see a miracle worked in proof of it.
"What, then, do you desire?" St. Anthony asked.
"I will," said the heretic, "keep my mule without food for three days. Afterwards, I will bring it to you. On one side I will place food before it, and on the other side you shall stand with the Blessed Sacrament. If the mule leaves the food and goes to you, I will believe that Jesus Christ is truly and really present in the Blessed Sacrament."
St. Anthony agreed to the proposal, and on the appointed day a great concourse of people was assembled together in the public square to see what would happen.
After having said the Mass, St. Anthony took the Blessed Sacrament and carried It with him to the square. Then, when the hungry animal had been brought near the food placed before it, St. Anthony, holding in his hands the Blessed Sacrament, addressed these words to the mule:
The mule prostrated itself before the Blessed Sacrament
"In the name of my Creator, Whom I am not worthy to hold in my hands, I command you to draw near and prostrate yourself before my God, to give due honor to Him, so that the heretics may learn from a mere beast how they ought to worship their God in the Blessed Sacrament."
And behold, no sooner had St. Anthony thus spoken than the mule left its food, went before the Blessed Sacrament, and bowed its head to the ground as if to adore it! At this sight, Bovillus and many other heretics were converted and professed their faith in the Real Presence.
From Michael Muller, The Blessed Eucharist, Our Greatest Treasure,
Published in 1868, republished by TAN 1994, p. 206-207
Posted May 29, 2010
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