One story tells how, disgusted by the obduracy of his listeners, Saint Anthony went to the mouth of the Marecchia river and called the fish, who all swam to the surface and formed ranks to hear his sermon. The Little Flowers of Saint Francis includes this account of his message:
My brothers the fishes, you are bound, as much as is in your power, to return thanks to your Creator, who has given you so noble an element for your dwelling; for you have at your choice both sweet water and salt; you have many places of refuge from the tempest; you have likewise a pure and transparent element for your nourishment. God, your bountiful and kind Creator, when he made you, ordered you to increase and multiply, and gave you his blessing. In the universal deluge, all other creatures perished; you alone did God preserve from all harm.