Nestorian Saint Anthony, Patron Saint of Divination
The Nestorians were Christians famous for their astrology skills. As these Nestorians were outcasts among other Christians, they migrated elsewhere. These Nestorians included Sabians famous in ancient times for their astrology skills. The Arabs used to hire them to be their astrologers. As Ho (2003) noted, these Nestorians entered China around the 8th century AD.
Among the Nestorians there was one person well known for astrology skills - he was Saint Anthony (left figure) sometimes worshipped as the deity of divination. Saint Anthony had an interesting legend. One day he tried to persuade a trader to abandon his wanton ways and become a Christian. Anthony laid a bet. He told the trader to meet him again a week later in front of the church with a donkey. On the far end of the road leading to the church will be a stack of hay. If the donkey went for the hay then the trader did not have to be a Christian. But if Anthony could make the donkey enter the church it would be a miracle from God that the trader should be a Christian.
Of course, the trader starved a donkey for 7 days. On the date appointed, the trader with his donkey were with Anthony in the middle of the road. The trader let go the hungry donkey which made a beeline for the stack of hay. But even as the donkey neared the hay, Anthony prayed and the donkey suddenly stopped in its track. To the amazement of all, the donkey turned and rushed into the church. The astounded trader had to become a Christian!
That was how Anthony became the patron saint of donkey and asses.
Anthony was also known to be led to the cave of Peter of the desert by a wolf.
Chang Kou Lou was actually a Nestorian monk and the same person as the Nestorian Saint Anthony, patron saint of divination! Both were involved with a miracle donkey, were led to a cave by a wolf. Compare their images (left Figures) and noted that both looked very similar, being slim, wore robes, had white beards and carried a Y shaped stick. Of course, both were famous for their astrology skills. According to legends both also liked and protected children.
Among the Nestorian monks, Saint Anthony was famous for his divination skills. It was his astrology art which was brought by the Nestorians into Tang China. The "Zhang Guo xingzong" text was a compilation of the astrology of Saint Anthony brought into China. That was how the Western 12 Zodiac signs entered into China.
Saint Anthony lived around AD 350, while Chang Kou Lou was involved with Tang Empress Wu Zse Tian in AD 700. It is likely that the Chang Kou Lou the empress wanted to see was of a lineage of chief monks coming down from Saint Anthony.