Ass-worship

Ass-Worship was attributed to the Jews by the Gentiles, according to Josephus and Tacitus, and afterwards to the Christians, owing to the mention of the animal in the history of Balaam, the victory of Samson, the stable' of Bethlehem, the flight into Egypt, and the entry on Palm - Sunday into Jerusalem. At Beauvais, on Jan. 14, the Feast of the Ass was observed yearly. An ass bearing the image of the Madonna was led in procession to St. Stephen's Church, where an absurd prose was sung, with the refrain "Hez, Sire Asne," during the mass. At Chalons-sur-Marne the bishop of fools rode mounted on an ass. At Autun the principal canons held the four corners of the golden housings of the ass; and at Cambray a picture of the ass was placed behind the high-altar from Palm-Sunday to Maundy- Thursday. Naogorgus says that on Palm Sunday a wooden ass with a rider was drawn upon wheels through the streets to the church door, where the priest blessed the palms as talismans against storm and lightning, and then lay down before it and was beaten with a rod by another priest. Two "lubborers" then alluded to the entry of our Lord into Jerusalem} and the ass, smothered with branches, was drawn into the church. In some places the ass was hired out and led through a town, while boys collected bread, eggs, and money, half of which was given to the hirer. SEE ASINARII; SEE ONOLATRY.

 
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