The miracle at the Tempietto of Sant'Antonio
It was the year 1223 when "The miracle of the mule" took place, an event linked to the presence of St. Anthony of Padua in Rimini in Piazza Tre Martiri.
Legend has it that Saint Anthony and a heretic farmer from Rimini named Bonvillo had been arguing animatedly for several days when the farmer issued a challenge: “I'll starve my mule for three days and then we'll meet again. I will offer it some hay and you a holy wafer. If the mule chooses the latter, I will believe what you say."
After three days, while Anthony was saying Mass, the farmer arrived with the hungry mule. The Saint took the wafer in his hand and raised it up to Heaven. The mule ignored the hay and knelt in front of the wafer, to the amazement and emotion of those present, making the non-believer from Rimini cry out for a miracle and redemption.
Today there is a chapel called "Tempietto" (small temple) there, in front of the sanctuary of Saint Frances from Paola. Built in the early sixteenth century and dedicated to St. Anthony from Padua in memory of the miracle, then rebuilt in the seventeenth century after the earthquake of 1672; it no longer appears as it originally did as it has changed its appearance due to various restorations through the years. It now has an octagonal shape, surrounded by columns and covered with marble.