Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Memorial of Gratitude

And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind [him], and touched the hem of his garment: For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour. Matt.9:20-22

I came across the following anecdote after reading Nibley's book on Early Christianity. He mentioned Origen and Eusebius as credible witnesses of what took place during the first few hundred years after Christ's ministry.

A tradition is preserved by Eusebius connecting the city of Caesarea Philippi with the woman of faith, who was cured of her inveterate disease by touching the border of Jesus' garment. The words of the early historian are :— " But, as we have mentioned this city, I do not think it right to pass by a narrative that deserves to be recorded for posterity. They say, that the woman who had an issue of blood, mentioned by the Evangelists, and who obtained deliverance from her affliction by our Savior, was a native of this place, and that her house is shown in the city, and the wonderful monuments of our Savior's benefit to her are still remaining. At the gates of her house, on an elevated stone, stands a brazen image of a woman on her bended knee, with her hands stretched out before her, like one entreating. Opposite to this there is another image of a man erect, of the same materials, decently clad in a mantle, and stretching out his hand to the woman. Before her feet, and on the same pedestal, there is a certain strange plant growing, which, rising as high as the hem of the brazen garment, is a kind of antidote to all kinds of diseases. This figure, they say, is a statue of Jesus Christ, and it has remained even until our times, so that we ourselves saw it whilst tarrying in that city."


  1. Makes you wonder what happend to the statue, and the medicinal plant?

  2. Here is one story about what happened to the statue. Philostorgius wrote:

    There is also the statue of the Saviour in the city of Paneas, a work of magnificent execution put up by the woman with the haemorrhage whom Christ healed, and erected on a notable site in the city... Now an herb grew up by the feet of our Saviour's image and the reason for this was sought, for in the passage of time both the person portrayed and the reason for the monument had been forgotten; it stood in the open with nothing to cover it, and much of the body was buried in the dirt that kept falling upon it from higher ground especially in times of rain, the dirt covering the writing that explained each of the matters. An inquiry was therefore instituted, the buried part was dug out, and the writing was found that told the whole story... The Christians removed it and put it in the sacristy of the church. The pagans pulled it down, fastened ropes to the feet, and dragged it through the public square until it was broken up bit by bit and so destroyed. Only the head was left; that was seized by someone while the pagans were raising their clamor and speaking blasphemies and utterly disgraceful words against our Lord Jesus Christ, words such as no one had ever heard.