Infancy: Jesus the Exorcist

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.


Jesus the Exorcist




THERE was also a girl, who was afflicted by Satan, for that cursed spirit did frequently appear to her in the shape of a dragon, and was inclined to swallow her up and had so sucked out all her blood that she looked like a dead carcase. As often as she came to herself, with her hands wringed about her head she would cry out, and say, "Woe, woe is me, that there is no one to be found who can deliver me from that impious dragon!"

Her father and mother, and all who were about her and saw her, mourned and wept over her; and all who were present would especially be under sorrow and in tears when they heard her bewailing, and saying, "My brethren and friends, is there no one who can deliver me from this murderer?"

Then the prince's daughter, who had been cured of her leprosy, hearing the complaint of that girl, went upon the top of her castle and saw her with her hands twisted about her head, pouring out a flood of tears, and all the people that were about her in sorrow. Then she asked the husband of the possessed person whether his wife's mother was alive. He told her that her father and mother were both alive. Then she ordered her mother to be sent to her: to whom, when she saw her coming, she said, "Is this possessed girl thy daughter?"

She moaning and bewailing said, "Yes, madam, I bore her."

The prince's daughter answered, "Disclose the secret of her case to me for I confess to you that I was leprous, but the Lady Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, healed me. And if you desire your daughter to be restored to her former state, take her to Bethlehem and inquire for Mary the mother of Jesus, and doubt not but your daughter will be cured, for I do not question but you will come home with great joy at your daughter's recovery."

As soon as ever she had done speaking, she arose and went with her daughter to the place appointed, and to Mary, and told her the case of her daughter. When St. Mary had heard her story, she gave her a little of the water with which she had washed the body of her son Jesus and bade her pour it upon the body of her daughter. Likewise she gave her one of the swaddling cloths of the Lord Jesus, and said, "Take this swaddling cloth and shew it to thine enemy as often as thou seest him; and she sent them away in peace."

After they had left that city and returned home, and the time was come in which Satan was wont to seize her, in the same moment this cursed spirit appeared to her in the shape of a huge dragon, and the girl seeing him was afraid. The mother said to her, "Be not afraid, daughter; let him alone till he come nearer to thee! Then shew him the swaddling cloth which the Lady Mary gave us and we shall see the event."

Satan then coming like a dreadful dragon, the body of the girl trembled for fear. But as soon as she had put the swaddling cloth upon her head, and about her eyes, and shewed it to him, presently there issued forth from the swaddling cloth flames and burning coals, and fell upon the dragon. Oh! how great a miracle was this, which was done: as soon as the dragon saw the swaddling cloth of the Lord Jesus, fire went forth and was scattered upon his head and eyes so that he cried out with a loud voice, "What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou son of Mary, Whither shall I flee from thee?"

So he drew back, much affrighted, and left the girl. And she was delivered from this trouble, and sang praises and thanks to God, and with her all who were present at the working of the miracle.




(700 words)


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