Grimm’s Saga No. 241: Bread Becomes Stone
In many places, especially Westphalia, the story is told of a hard-hearted sister, who in time of terrible famine denied her sister bread for herself and her babe with the words: “And if I had bread, I would rather that it turned to stone!” Immediately her bread supply became stone. In Leiden in Holland such stone bread is held up in St. Peter’s Church as a sign to the people that the story is true.
In the year 1579 a baker in Dortmund had purchased much corn during a time of famine and thought he would prosper as a result. But in the middle of transacting this business, all the bread in his house was turned to stone. When he grabbed a loaf and and wanted to cut it open with a knife, blood flowed out. Soon thereafter he hung himself in his chamber
In the main church of Holy St. Castulus in Landshut there hangs a round stone in silver casing in the shape of bread. There are many small indentations on its surface. The following saga has been told about it: Just before the Holy Saint Castulus died, he approached a widow in the city dressed as a pauper and begged for alms. The woman told her daughter to give the stranger the only bread they had left. The daughter did not like the idea of giving it away. She wanted to break off a few pieces, but in that moment it turned into stone and you can still see the imprint of her finger.
At a time of great famine a poor wife took her child on her arm and wandering the streets of Danzig cried out for bread. There she met a monk from Cloister Oliva, whom she begged for a bit of bread for her children. The monk replied: “I have none.” The woman said: “But I see you have concealed some near your breast.”—“That is only a stone I like to throw to the dogs,” the monk replied and walked away. After a while he wanted to reach for his bread to eat it. He found that it had actually turned to stone. He recoiled in fear, admitted his sin and relinquished the stone, which now hangs in the cloister church.