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A small miracle: a wonderful old Catholic movie

Take a break.

I’ve been talking on FB lately, and to anyone willing to listen, about how much I want a donkey. No, that’s not slang or a euphemism for anything. I mean an actual donkey. There are lots of donkeys around here, where they’re popular with the mountain trekking people. I’ve been scouring websites about how to care for a pet donkey while I was supposed to be working on terribly terribly important and grown-up things. I’ve been daydreaming about getting a little bit of land down the valley in one of the villages, maybe Popoli, and keeping a donkey there and maybe keeping some bees too.

I have just today remembered where I got my love of donkeys; a little book I had as a child that had photos from an old movie based on a book by the Italian writer, Paul Gallico. The pics I remember came from a colour film, but I found this on Youtube today.

It’s just a sweet and charming story of a young boy who takes his sick donkey to Assisi be cured by St. Francis.

Oh, I think I’m going to cry just thinking about it…

Also, Umbria…

People who tell you that the modern world is better than the Before Time are dumb.

And probably wicked.


22 thoughts on “A small miracle: a wonderful old Catholic movie”

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  2. Andy says:

    Wonderful movie. I watched it with my children (11, 9 and 7) and they all loved it. Recommendations on any other good Catholic fare online would be very welcome!

  3. Rory Donnellan says:

    If you plan to ride your donkey bareback, you shouldn’t have any troubles, but if you are going to use a saddle, you may want to learn “centre-fire rigging”…
    God bless.

  4. Mike says:

    Last time I was in Rome (about 2 yrs ago) with students we were on the way to the airport for departure, and the highway traffic comes to a stop. Two youngish donkeys were running lose. Not a cop in sight the whole time while two working men try to lasso them. About 15 or guys get out of their cars for a smoke and to watch. Thankfully, both animals were safely secured, and traffic resumed. Italian disorganization at its best. In America, it might have not gone so well–for the donkeys.

    I love donkeys. That are marvelous living icons of a Christian trying not to be an ass, and pretty much always failing when we go our own way. (Pardon the Fleetwood echo!)

    Prayers for your intentions!

  5. Christine says:

    That was so beautiful…I found myself crying. The way he hugged and caressed that donkey, and pulled her all over town- what a fine pair they are! I was hoping for a cameo of Pope Pius XII! But that was not at all necessary. So beautiful and simple. Also I love Giotto, and all the familiar places in Rome and Assisi. Peppino was so endearing. The faces of the children in the crypt….Never heard of this before, but I think it is a little treasure.

  6. Dana says:

    Thanks for this but not to be a stick in the mud but I remember learning about Paul Gallico in high school . He was very American and talented writer. Here’s to save time googling unless there are two of them.

  7. Lorraine says:

    Hillary, donkeys are wonderful and intelligent animals. We had one as a neighbor for a couple of years. I miss him very much. We would get one if we had more property than we have,

  8. M. says:

    Hilary, this touched my heart. For many years, I’ve been saying, “If ever we don’t have cars, I want a little brown donkey.” This post has renewed my interest. And bees, yes, yes, yes to the bees! We’ve had bees; they are amazing little creatures. Thanks, this post is exactly what I needed today. God bless.

  9. David Wilson says:

    thank you so much. I needed something like that. It’s been hard to take a lot of things lately. That was a great movie.

  10. Linda S. says:

    Thank you for a lovely Sunday afternoon. What a charming movie.

  11. Fuquaysteve says:

    Based solely on the quantity of weeds in my yard I prefer to have the sheep who make a cameo appearance at the end. Just sayin’.

    Thanks for this…first music, now movies, what is next?

  12. Hilary White says:

    You all are assuming I have better things to do with my time… What busy lives you all must lead that keeping animals would be some kind of insupportable burden. Sounds awful.

  13. Breadandbullets says:

    In addition to the time and expense of keeping the donkey, it’s recommended to keep more than one; they are sociable animals and need company. I’ve owned horses all my life; the solitary animal is typically not happy. So double your expenses and time.

  14. Michael Dowd says:

    Maybe you could walk someone’s donkey once a week or so. Get all of the love and none of the hassle. There’s got to be a way to get this done. Everyone needs a companion. It’s the way God intended it.

  15. Michael Yoder says:

    Wonderful movie! A little glimpse into a better time.

  16. Eugene says:

    Mille grazie Hilary..having spent the first nine years of my life in Italy this brings back up great memories of an innocent childhood spent in a now very much gone true Catholic culture. How I miss my childhood and that culture. Grazie di nuovo carissima Hilary.

  17. Long-Skirts says:

    What a delight!~ Put up on my FB for others to watch! Thank you!!!

  18. SAF says:

    Thanks for the movie! It was lovely. Will watch it again and “invite” my kids to join me.
    I hope you get a Violetta.

  19. Michael says:

    So, should we form a donkey baseball team, and take it on the road?

  20. Marie says:

    Hilary, Thank you. I hadn’t realized the version I have is a remake of this charming classic. Bleck
    The “modernized” version is devoid of charm and my kids after one viewing are so over it. However this version is close to the style of Miracle Marcellino which we have no problem watching over and over. I’m going to look for this version to add to our library. Meanwhile, thank you for posting the full length movie here.

  21. Eejay says:

    Yeh too right, evil! Bloody class film btw!

  22. Mike Jamison says:

    I’d stick to bees. I’ve been keeping them for 8 years now, and they are much easier to maintain than donkeys/mules/horses. You can actually leave bees for a couple of weeks after spring and they won’t miss your care, or lack thereof. Livestock on the other hand is a 24/7 operation requiring vets, stables, feed, water, harness etc. Forget about travel unless you board-which means money-or have someone to step in for you in order to keep the animal. IMO, based upon my experience with horses, unless you’re actually using the animal to farm, show, or breed, it is a very expensive and possibly cantankerous pet.
    Stick to bees, that’s what I did.

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