Happy Feast of the Ass

No, I am not talking about whom you think I’m talking about.

I picked this up from Southern Fried Catholicism, an amusing blog by Fr. Joe Tonos.  I hope you will go spike his stats.

Today on the medieval calendar, Churches celebrated “THE FEAST OF THE ASS”.

This politically incorrect tale tells us more:

The ‘Festival of the Ass,’ and other religious burlesques of a similar description, derive their origin from Constantinople; being instituted by the Patriarch Theophylact, with the design of weaning the people’s minds from pagan ceremonies, particularly the Bacchanalian and calendary observances, by the substitution of Christian spectacles, partaking of a similar spirit of licentiousness,—a principle of accommodation to the manners and prejudices of an ignorant people, which led to a still further adoption of rites, more or less imitated from the pagans. According to the pagan mythology, an ass, by its braying, saved Vesta from brutal violence, and, in consequence, ‘ the coronation of the ass ‘ formed a part of the ceremonial feast of the chaste goddess.


The rest is over there. I will say, however, that you don’t want to miss the description of the liturgical celebration of the Feast. He also has some possible greeting cards. I include only two of them here.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. So let’s not forget to commemorate this day by picking up Euclid for at least a glance at the diagram for the proof of Proposition 5 of Book 1 — the pons asinorum (“bridge of asses”), according to which the angles opposite the equal sides of an isosceles triangle are equal.

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  2. NoTambourines says:

    I need to remember to schedule a day off sometime when this falls on a weekday just so I can explain it to people. It might also make for a memorable email auto-reply in Outlook.

    And if I had been drinking Mystic Monk Coffee, it would have been a higher caliber of coffee that just left my nostrils as I read this posting.

  3. ContraMundum says:

    My internal censor has rejected the comment I was about to write.

  4. leonugent2005 says:

    The first reading at mass this morning harmonizes nicely with this.


  5. Ben Yanke says:


    Ha! I read at Mass this morning without any prep, and I did a double take at the reading when I first walked up to the ambo!

  6. letchitsa1 says:

    Oh the picture of the priest with the ass and the “You put the ass in Mass” comment is totally going to the pastor of the student parish in town, who is quite fond of full-page ads in the student newspaper that read, to the effect, “Fr. Fred says ‘Get your ass to mass'” and always displays some sort of donkey theme and the parish schedule for both mass and reconciliation. The students get a kick out of the ads, as do a number of the adults (at least those who have yet to lose their sense of humor).

  7. Maltese says:

    Off topic, but also pretty humorous, my son sent me this trailer, which, btw., is a real trailer!

  8. bookworm says:

    Didn’t St. Francis refer to his body as “Brother Ass”?

  9. Mariana says:

    Aha! This puts a new interpretation on The Horse and His Boy and the fate of Prince Rabadash!

  10. What – NO ONE has a pun for “Kish” and “Ass”?! A sad day this is.

Comments are closed.