St. Joseph Province

Missionaries Of Compassion

“Do as I have done” Jn 13,15


Animals seem to have a special sensitivity to movements under the earth’s crust. That was shown in a special way on the occasion of a severe earthquake in the Moroccan city of Agadir on 29 February 1960. The day before the catastrophe several hundred merchants had gathered in this port city at the edge of the desert because on the morrow the monthly market would begin. Each had brought along two or three donkeys laden with wares. In the late afternoon of that day several of the animals became restless; by evening they could no longer be controlled. They broke away from their hitching posts, they tugged in a kind of panic at their bridles, they brayed in complaining tones. The handlers tried toquiet them, but even brutal beatings did not help. People thought there must be something extraordinary in the area ….. perhaps a great number of poisonous snakes. Finally the drivers had no choice but to move the donkeys to a spot a few kilometers outside the city, where a new night hostelry had recently been built. There peace andquiet returned to the donkeys. In the early hours of the next morning began a continuous trembling of the earth which laid low every last dwelling in the city of Agadir and killed 12,000 inhabitants. The handlers bowed respectfully toward the donkeys that had saved their lives.          

– Bonner Rundshau

Often, days before natural calamities occur wild animals and birds start migrating en-mass. Humans in the process of becoming civilized have, unfortunately, by and large lost their sensitivity. They have also become too proud to follow the instinctive behaviour of their fellow creatures.

During the devastating tsunami of December  26, 2004 which took thousands of lives, when the sea receded drastically all of a sudden, free animals and birds tried to get away, whereas humans, out of sheer curiosity, went in to investigate.

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