Infancy: Miracles Along the Way

This story is part of the Infancy Gospels unit. Story source: The Lost Books of the Bible, edited by Rutherford H. Platt, Jr. (1926): The First Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus Christ.

The Robbers and the Bride

Joseph and Mary, when they heard that the idol was fallen down and destroyed, were seized with fear and trembling and said, "When we were in the land of Israel, Herod, intending to kill Jesus, slew for that purpose all the infants at Bethlehem, and that neighbourhood. And there is no doubt but the Egyptians if they come to hear that this idol is broken and fallen down, will burn us with fire."

They went therefore hence to the secret places of robbers, who robbed travellers as they pass by, of their carriages and their clothes, and carried them away bound. These thieves upon their coming heard a great noise such as the noise of a king with a great army and many horses and the trumpets sounding at his overture from his own city, at which they were so affrighted as to leave all their booty behind them and fly away in haste.

Upon this the prisoners arose and loosed each other's bonds and, taking each man his bags, they went away, and saw Joseph and Mary coming towards them, and inquired, "Where is that king, the noise of whose approach the robbers heard, and left us, so that we are now come off safe?"

Joseph answered, "He will come after us."

THEN they went into another where there was a woman possessed with a devil, and in whom Satan, that cursed rebel, had taken up his abode. One night, when she went to fetch water, she could neither endure her clothes on nor to be in any house, but as often as they tied her with chains or cords, she brake them and went out into desert places and, sometimes standing where roads crossed and in churchyards, would throw stones at men.

When St. Mary saw this woman, she pitied her; whereupon Satan presently left her, and fled away in the form of a young man, saying, "Woe to me, because of thee, Mary, and thy son."

So the woman was delivered from her torment, but considering herself naked, she blushed and avoided seeing any man and, having put on her clothes, went home and gave an account of her case to her father and relations, who, as they were the best of the city, entertained St. Mary and Joseph with the greatest respect.

The next morning, having received a sufficient supply of provisions for the road, they went from them, and about the evening of the day arrived at another town where a marriage was then about to be solemnized, but by the arts of Satan and the practices of some sorcerers, the bride was become so dumb that she could not so much as open her mouth.

But when this dumb bride saw the Lady St. Mary entering into the town and carrying the Lord Christ in her arms, she stretched out her hands to the Lord Christ and took him in her arms and, closely hugging him, very often kissed him, continually moving him and pressing him to her body.

Straightway the string of her tongue was loosed, and her ears were opened, and she began to sing praises unto God, who had restored her. So there was great joy among the inhabitants of the town that night, who thought that God and his angels were come down among them.

(600 words)

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