The Fathers of the Church on the healing of Simon Peter's mother-in-law

January 12, 2022 • 4 min

From The Catena Aurea, page n38

29. And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.

30. But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her.

31. And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them.

Bede; First, it was right that the serpent’s tongue should be shut up, that it might not spread any more venom; then that the woman, who was first seduced, should be healed from the fever of carnal concupiscence. Wherefore it is said, And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, &c.

Theophyl. He retired then as the custom was on the sabbath-day about evening to eat in His disciples’ house. But she who ought to have ministered was prevented by a fever. Wherefore it goes on, But Simon’s wife’s mother it as lying sick of a fever.

Pseudo-Chrys. But the disciples, knowing that they were to receive a benefit by that means, without waiting for the evening prayed that Peter’s mother should be healed. Wherefore there follows, who immediately tell him of her.

Bede; But in the Gospel of Luke it is written, that they besought him for her. For the Saviour sometimes after being asked, sometimes of His own accord, heals the sick, shewing that He always assents to the prayers of the faithful, when they pray also against bad passions, and sometimes gives them to understand things which they do not understand at all, or else, when they pray unto Him dutifully, forgives their want of understanding; as the Psalmist begs of God, Cleanse me, O Lord, from my secret faults. Wherefore He heals her at their request; for there follows, And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up.

Theophyl. By this it is signified, that God will heal a sick man, if he ministers to the Saints, through love to Christ.

Bede; But in that He gives most profusely His gifts of healing and doctrine on the sabbath day, He teaches, that He is not under the Law, but above the Law, and does not choose the Jewish sabbath, but the true sabbath, and our rest is pleasing to the Lord, if, in order to attend to the health of our souls, we abstain from slavish work, that is, from all unlawful things.

It goes on, and immediately the fever left her, &c. The health which is conferred at the command of the Lord, returns at once entire, accompanied with such strength, that she is able to minister to those, of whose help she had before stood in need.

Again, if we suppose that the man delivered from the devil means, in the moral way of interpretation, the soul purged from unclean thoughts, fitly does the woman cured of a fever by the command of God mean the flesh, restrained from the heat of its concupiscence by the precepts of continence.

Pseudo-Jerome; For the fever means intemperance, from which, we the sons of the synagogue, by the hand of discipline, and by the lifting up of our desires, are healed, and minister to the will of Him who heals us.

Theophyl. But he has a fever who is angry, and in the unruliness of his anger stretches forth his hands to do hurt; but if reason restrains his hands, he will arise, and so serve reason.

Latest book snippets

See all 686 | Random Book Snippet

Blog Posts

See all

Books

Movies