Infancy: Jesus the Healer

This reading selection provides the back story for Saint Bartholomew the Apostle; you can read more about him at Wikipedia.

[Notes by LKG]

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 Healer

ANOTHER woman in that city had likewise two sons sick. And when one was dead, the other, who lay at the point of death, she took in her arms to the Lady St. Mary, and in a flood of tears addressed herself to her, saying, "O my Lady, help and relieve me, for I had two sons, the one I have just now buried, the other I see is just at the point of death, behold how I (earnestly) seek favour from God, and pray to him." Then she said, "O Lord, thou art gracious, and merciful, and kind; thou hast given me two sons; one of them thou hast taken to thyself, O spare me this other."

St. Mary, then perceiving the greatness of her sorrow, pitied her and said, "Do thou place thy son in my son's bed and cover him with his clothes."

And when she had placed him in the bed wherein Christ lay, at the moment when his eyes were just closed by death, as soon as ever the smell of the garments of the Lord Jesus Christ reached the boy, his eyes were opened and, calling with a loud voice to his mother, he asked for bread, and when he had received it, he sucked it.

Then his mother said, "O Lady Mary, now I am assured that the powers of God do dwell in you, so that thy son can cure children who are of the same sort as himself, as soon as they touch his garments." This boy who was thus cured, is the same who in the Gospel is called Bartholomew.

AGAIN there was a leprous woman who went to the Lady St. Mary, the mother of Jesus, and said, "O my Lady, help me."

St. Mary replied, "What help dost thou desire? Is it gold or silver, or that thy body be cured of its leprosy?"

"Who," says the woman, "can grant me this?"

St. Mary replied to her, "Wait a little till I have washed my son Jesus and put him to bed."

The woman waited as she was commanded, and Mary, when she had put Jesus in bed, giving her the water with which she had washed his body, said, "Take some of the water, and pour it upon thy body."

Which when she had done, she instantly became clean, and praised God, and gave thanks to him.

Then she went away, after she had abode with her three days: and going into the city, she saw a certain prince, who had married another prince's daughter, but when he came to see her, he perceived between her eyes the signs of leprosy like a star and thereupon declared the marriage dissolved and void.

When the woman saw these persons in this condition, exceedingly sorrowful and shedding abundance of tears, she inquired of them the reason of their crying. They replied," Inquire not into our circumstances for we are net able to declare our misfortunes to any person whatsoever."

But still she pressed and desired them to communicate their case to her, intimating that perhaps she might be able to direct them to a remedy. So when they shewed the young woman to her and the signs of the leprosy which appeared between her eyes, she said, "I also, whom ye see in this place, was afflicted with the same distemper and, going on some business to Bethlehem, I went into a certain cave, and saw a woman named Mary, who had a son called Jesus. She seeing me to be leprous, was concerned for me, and gave me some water with which she had washed her son's body; with that I sprinkled my body, and became clean."

Then said these women, "Will you, Mistress, go along with us, and shew the Lady St. Mary to us?"

To which she consenting, they arose and went to the Lady St. Mary, taking with them very noble presents. And when they came in and offered their presents to her, they showed the leprous young woman what they brought with them to her.

Then said St. Mary, "The mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ rest upon you." And giving them a little of that water with which she had washed the body of Jesus Christ, she bade them wash the diseased person with it; which when they had done, she was presently cured; so they, and all who were present, praised God; and being filled with joy, they went back to their own city, and gave praise to God on that account. Then the prince hearing that his wife was cured, took her home and made a second marriage, giving thanks unto God for the recovery of his wife's health.

(800 words)

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