He confesses to Don Camillo that he was the one who gave the priest a good beating a few weeks previously.
Being the good priest that he is, Don Camillo gives Peppone a penance of 20 Hail Marys and 20 Our Fathers.
And then, as Peppone kneels to say his penance, Don Camillo discusses the matter with the crucified Christ above the altar:
"Lord, if I have been a worthy servant to you, grant me one small favour.
Let me at least hit him with this candle. After all, Lord, what is a candle?"
"No", replied Christ, "Your hands were made for blessing."
Don Camillo sighed wearily. He genuflected and left the altar.
As he turned to make a final sign of the cross, he found himself behind Peppone who still knelt at the communion rails and appeared absorbed in prayer.
"Lord", groaned Don Camillo, clasping his hands and looking up at the crucifix, "My hands were made for blessing, but not my feet".
"There's something in that" replied Christ, "but, I warn you, just one".
The kick landed like a thunderbolt. Peppone didn't bat an eye.
After a minute he got up and sighed.
"I've been expecting that for the past ten minutes," he remarked casually, "I feel better now."
"So do I" exclaimed Don Camillo whose heart was now as light and serene as a May morning.
Christ said nothing at all but it was easy to see that He too was pleased.
If you have not read any of the Don Camillo stories, I urge you to do so. They were written by Giovanni Guareschi and are still to be found on Abe and Amazon.