Saint-Pierre-le-Guillard and the legend of the mule

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The painting about the miracle in the church - © / CC-BY-NC-SA The painting about the miracle in the church - © / CC-BY-NC-SA
Saint-Pierre-le-Guillard church Parish church Miracle Legend

Located on a quiet little square, this church is contemporary with the cathedral of St-Etienne of Bourges: yes, it has the same plan, with no transept and an ambulatory.

In 1220, a Jew named Zacharie Guiard get muddled up with saint Antoine of Padova, speaking religion. "Come on, you have to change religion", said Antoine. "No, no and no! I’ll only do it the day my mule will let its oat to adore Jesus!" said the Jew.

The concerned quadruped was all skin and bones, it hasn't eaten for days... but when saint Antoine put a host in front of the mule’s nostrils, this one immediately left its oat and kneeled down the host! A real miracle...

Zacharie immediately changed religion and raised a church dedicated to Saint-Pierre! This one was dedicated by archbishop of Bourges Simon de Sully, in 1230. You will see an oil painting by Germain Picard (15th century) representing the miracle, in the church...

The legend is a nice one, sure, but we have a problem: a bull by pope Alexander III in 1164 already mentioned the church as ecclesia sancti Petri Guillardi, "church of Saint-Pierre-Guiard"... The current church dates back to the 13th century, which means that another church preceded it...

And also!