St. Anthony’s Sermon to the Fishes

by | Jun 13, 2018 | Poetry, St. Anthony | 4 comments

Saint Anthony at church

Was left in the lurch,

So he went to the ditches

And preached to the fishes.

They wriggled their tails,

In the sun glanced their scales.

The carps, with their spawn,

Are all thither drawn;

Have opened their jaws,

Eager for each clause.

No sermon beside

Had the carps so edified.

Sharp-snouted pikes,

Who keep fighting like tikes,

Now swam up harmonious

To hear Saint Antonius.

No sermon beside

Had the pikes so edified.

And that very odd fish,

Who loves fast-days, the cod-fish,

The stock-fish, I mean,

At the sermon was seen.

No sermon beside

Had the cods so edified.

Good eels and sturgeon,

Which aldermen gorge on,

Went out of their way

To hear preaching that day.

No sermon beside

Had the eels so edified.

Crabs and turtles also,

Who always move low,

Made haste from the bottom

As if the devil had got ’em.

No sermon beside

The crabs so edified.

Fish great and fish small,

Lords, lackeys, and all,

Each looked at the preacher

Like a reasonable creature.

At God’s word,

They Anthony heard.

The sermon now ended,

Each turned and descended;

The pikes went on stealing,

The eels went on eeling.

Much delighted were they,

But preferred the old way.

The crabs are backsliders,

The stock-fish thick-siders,

The carps are sharp-set,

All the sermon forget.

Much delighted were they,

But preferred the old way.

by Abraham a Sancta-Clara (Augustinian monk, 1607–1680)
Source: Public Domain Poetry

I’m planning to read this poem to the children this afternoon… and serve cupcakes!


  1. Julie Fergsuon

    Hi, Where did you get the gorgeous dolls from? Also, have you talked to your husband about your girls being pen friends with Jayne? She really wants to get to know them. From Julie.

    2018-06-14 06:53:35

  2. Jessica Gordon

    It is one of the "Zelie Dolls" handmade from FamilyCloister but unfortunately their website is no longer active… This one is the St. Anthony with Baby Jesus and we also have St. Catherine, St. Michael, Blessed Imelda and St. Therese. I was slowly collecting them and wish I would have ordered a couple others while they were still available.

    2018-06-14 18:41:20

  3. Julie Ferguson

    That's a shame. I love the pictures of Grace's birthday party. You always give amazing parties.

    2018-06-15 00:06:19

  4. Patricia

    I am new to this site. I am going to try the St. Anthony's Cupcake today but may have trouble making the St. Anthony figure. My son is Anthony. Happy Feast day to all.

    2020-06-13 10:09:52


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