Jesus' Donkey Statue
On March 16, 2008 at 8:30 in the morning before the 9 a.m.
Lenten Retreat sponsored by the MAMI Promoters, I went to see Msgr.
Roque C. Reyes, parish priest of the St. Paul’s Metropolitan Cathedral,
Vigan City, Ilocos Sur.
“Msgr., I have a statue of Jesus riding on a donkey. It was blessed by
Archbishop Ernesto Salgado last year during my school’s graduation
exercise. I want that it will join the General Stations of the Cross
replied, “Why did you come so late? Let me see it first. I am not
making any promise that your statue can join. I will see if it would
fit with the other statues.”
So anxious was I for the statue to join the Stations of the Cross that
I told Msgr. “I will be back now with the statue,” to which he replied,
“In the afternoon.”
so I went to the venue of the retreat at the Aula de Caridad of the
Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia. After the retreat which was at 1 p.m. I
went home to get palms at our home garden and went to borrow from our
president, Mrs. Flori Aniceto the carriage which we the Ina Poon Bato
Devotees use during Marian processions.
I told my helper at the school to decorate the carriage in front of my
school at the Heritage Village. While it was being decorated, the
carriage of the image of Our Lady known as The Pietà
depicting the Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus, which is the
13th Station of the Cross owned by Mrs. Pacita Donato and family
I exclaimed, How
beautiful! I have to make mine also beautiful so Msgr. will approve my
statue to join the stations. So I immediately went to Mart One to buy
curtains to cover the carriage. I was happy to get five pieces at half
their regular price. When everything was done, I brought my statue to
the church for Msgr. to see since it was already 4 pm. and the stations
will start in two hours.
With an air
of confidence I presented the statue to Msgr. and true enough, Jesus
Triumphal Entry to Jerusalem statue passed Msgr. Reyes quality
standards. During the procession, people were amazed and glad to see a
different statue of Jesus, unlike the usual depicting Jesus suffering
in the hands of Pilate and the soldiers. It is heartwarming to see
people actually liking this statue of Jesus with His hand raised in the
form of blessing of peace, riding a brown donkey. This statue was not
only paraded during the Palm Sunday procession but also on Good Friday.
Msgr. Reyes’ in good turn expressed that the statue will henceforth be
a regular fixture during the Lenten Season.
It has been observed that many pilgrims are coming to Ilocos Sur during
Lent. The Church is happy of this Lenten pilgrimage. Hopefully, it
strengthens the Catholic faith. The provincial government of Ilocos Sur
is working with the church and the Department of Tourism to promote the
churches in Ilocos Sur as religious pilgrimage destination. Frequently
visited are the St. Paul’s Metropolitan Cathedral and Simbaan a Bassit
at Vigan City; Shrine of Our Lady of Charity (Nuestra Senora de la
Caridad) at Bantay; Shrine of Sto Cristo Milagroso at Sinait; Nuestra
Senora de la Asuncion Church in Santa Maria; St. Lucy Church in Sta.
Lucia; St., Vincent Church in San Vicente and St. William Church in
The Pater Noster Learning
Center pupils had a Lenten Presentation. Here is a short story that
speaks of the significance of the play.
Traveling in a train were an elderly bishop and a newly ordained
priest. The bishop spoke of his eventful life and then he asked the
priest to tell the story of his vocation. The priest said, “All I can
say is that the Lord has need of me.”
“That’s a remarkable coincidence, young man,” observed the bishop. “So
far as I can remember, only once in the Gospels did the Lord ever say
that he had need of anything.”
In Luke 19, verse 34 on the occasion of his triumphal entry into
Jerusalem, Jesus said He had in need of an ass. (A Donkey)
The time of our Lord’s Passion was at hand, and Jesus, accompanied by
his disciples and a considerable crowd of pilgrims, left Bethany to go
to Jerusalem. The road took Him to the Mount of Olives. Here he
stopped and surprised His disciples by asking two of them to do a very
strange thing. They were to go into a nearby village and borrow a
donkey! Jesus knew exactly where it was, just inside the gate. He also
knew the donkey’s age; it was so young no one had sat upon it yet. It
could well be that He had seen this fine little animal the last time He
passed this way, and now He needed a donkey He remembered it and said:
Untie it, and bring it here.
Naturally the disciples wondered what the owner would say. Jesus knew
their thoughts and said: If anyone asks you, Why are you untying it?
you shall say, “The Lord has need of it.”
Still wondering why Jesus should want a donkey, the disciples walked
over to the village. There, just where Jesus had told them, they found
the young colt and untied it. As they were doing so the owners came up
and asked, Why are you untying the colt? “The Lord has need of it,” the
disciples said, and took it away. Perhaps the owners were believers in
Jesus and were glad to lend Him their animal.
When the disciples returned with the donkey, suddenly a great hope rose
in the hearts of the disciples. Could this be the moment they had been
waiting for? Was Jesus going to let Himself be crowned king of Israel
after all? The disciples and the people spontaneously organized
themselves into a procession.
They had no cloth of gold to put on the donkey but some of them gladly
offered their garments, by way of a saddle, and helped Jesus to sit
donkey took a step forward. As Jesus road along, the people spread
their cloaks on the road and others cut branches from the trees waving
them joyfully. Men and women rushed to join the procession. At the top
of their voices they shouted:
Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed be the King who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!
Every moment excitement grew. People came running from all directions
to find out what was going on. “What is happening?” they cried. ‘What
is going on here?”
“It is Jesus of Nazareth, the great teacher of Galilee.
Jesus had visited Jerusalem several times before. He had not wanted to
be recognized as the Messiah. When the multitude had wished to make Him
King after the first multiplication of the loaves, He had fled into the
mountains. He had commanded his apostles who were witness to His
transfiguration and the sick whom He cured to be silent.
But now He is going to Jerusalem to be crowned as King of Israel. He is riding on a donkey, just as the prophet said.
It was a great day for the disciples, for all the people who followed
Him. Never would they forget the thrill of that wonderful procession.
And it was a great day for that little donkey. If donkeys think, he
may have thought, ‘The Lord could have chosen a lion, an elephant, or a
horse for such a wonderful occasion as this, but instead He chose me, a
And what was it that the two disciples said as they went to untie the donkey? “The Lord has need of it.”
What a lesson for us all! The donkey the Lord used in his triumphal
entry into Jerusalem was a concrete manifestation that his kingdom is
not of this world.
and I are like that little donkey, perhaps thinking that we have
shortcomings and limitations. Jesus knows who we are and He has need of
us. He wants to make use of us to carry out his plans, just as He made
use of the donkey for his entry into Jerusalem.
Let us all recite this lovely little prayer:
if Thou need me, show me how, and where, and when. Help me to do my
best for Thee. Use me as Thou will – all the way to the New
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