Hand Problems and Miracle Cures over the centuries

(Page 2 of 2 history pages, for page 1 go to History)

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There can be many reasons for contracted or withered hands. Leprosy was very common in the early ages but would have caused more disabilities and disfigurements, as it was incurable and a chronic disease. It would have made sense for a saint to cure all ills of the body and be credited for that in the texts. Therefore leprosy would have been less likely. Contracted scars from wound or burns and congenital camptodactyly are other possibilities.

Asklepios 6th century BC Inscriptiones Graecae IV, I os. 121-122

A man whose fingers were without use [the Greek word means ‘without strength’ or ‘not responding’], all but one, came as a suppliant to the god. When he looked at the votive tablets in the precinct, he expressed disbelief in the cures recorded and scoffed at the inscriptions. But when he fell asleep he saw a vision. He thought he was playing dice in front of the temple, and just as he was about to throw the dice the god came and jumped on his hand stretching the fingers out. As the god went away he thought he clenched his hand and then straightened out the fingers one by one. When he had straightened them all, the god appeared again and asked him whether he still doubted the inscriptions. He said: No. Then said the god: Because you withheld belief before, let Apistos [Doubter] be your name in the future. And when day broke he went out cured.”

Dio Cassius Roman History 69-79 AD

8 Following Vespasian’s entry into Alexandria the Nile overflowed, having in one day risen a palm higher than usual; such an occurrence, it was said, had only taken place only once before. Vespasian himself healed two persons, one having a withered hand, the other being blind, who had come to him because of a vision seen in dreams; he cured the one by stepping on his hand and the other by spitting upon his eyes.

Tacitus (history book 40- 81 69-79 AD)

Another with a diseased hand, at the counsel of the same God, prayed that the limb might feel the print of a Caesar’s foot. At first Vespasian ridiculed and repulsed them. They persisted; and he, though on the one hand he feared the scandal of a fruitless attempt, yet, on the other, was induced by the entreaties of the men and by the language of his flatterers to hope for success. At last he ordered that the opinion of physicians should be taken, as to whether such blindness and infirmity were within the reach of human skill. They discussed the matter from different points of view. “In the one case,” they said, “the faculty of sight was not wholly destroyed, and might return, if the obstacles were removed; in the other case, the limb, which had fallen into a diseased condition, might be restored, if a healing influence were applied; such, perhaps, might be the pleasure of the Gods, and the Emperor might be chosen to be the minister of the divine will; at any rate, all the glory of a successful remedy would be Caesar’s, while the ridicule of failure would fall on the sufferers.” And so Vespasian, supposing that all things were possible to his good fortune, and that nothing was any longer past belief, with a joyful countenance, amid the intense expectation of the multitude of bystanders, accomplished what was required. The hand was instantly restored to its use, and the light of day again shone upon the blind. Persons actually present attest both facts, even now when nothing is to be gained by falsehood.

Hand of Sabazios

In Ancient Europe, the part that later would be called Italy, some tribes worshipped (amongst others) a god called Sabazios. This deity was later associated with Jupiter and Dionyssos in the Roman culture. Sculptures of the Hand of Sabazios have been found (about 100), and his pinky and ringfinger are always clenched in the palm, many times with snakes or cords in the palm similar to Dupuytren’s cords, and adornments on the knuckles (knuckle pads). In one case even a penis with a dorsal curve is attached to the hand (Peyronie’s?). This suggests the condition was around in the time before and during the Roman empire, and a god with Dupuytren’s (and maybe Peyronie’s) was worshipped. It is possible this is where the ‘Hand of Benediction’ originated.

(Matthew J Zdilla, The hand of Sabazios : evidence of Dupuytren’s disease in antiquity and the origin of the hand of benediction)

Matthew 12:9-14 1st century AD

9 Now when He had departed fom there, He went into their synagogue.

10 And behold, there was a man who had a withered hand. And they asked Him, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”- that they might accuse Him.

11 Then He said to them, “What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? 12 Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” 13 Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and it was restored as whole as the other. 14 Then the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him.

Mark 3: 1-6 1st century AD

A Man with a Withered Hand

1 Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. 2 And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. 3 And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” 4 And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. 5 And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. 6 The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.

Luke 6:6-10 1st century AD

6 And it came to pass also on another Sabbath that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered.

7 And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, wether he would heal on the Sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him.

8 But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man with the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he rose and stood forth.

9 Then Jesus said unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the Sabbath day to do good, or to do evil? to save a life, or to destroy it?

10 And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

St Foy [270-290 AD] Disability in medieval Europe- thinking about the physical impairment. Irina Metzler page 158)

Another girl also had contracted hands which prior to her miracle cure had been ‘inflexible and not suited to work’.

St Nicholas first miracle [around 300AD] (legend)

St Nicholas

As Nicholas was growing up he regularly went to study and learn with his teacher. One day as he was on his way he came across a woman with a withered hand. Stopping, he approached her, laid his hand on her, prayed to God, and made the sign of the cross. The hand miraculously became whole.

St Germanus of Auxerre [around 429 AD] De Liturgica Gallicana, sancti Germani Pariensis

After the saint cured a young girl who’s hand had contracted into a claw forcing her fingernail to grow painfully into her palm, “he himself with his own sacred hands cut the long nails on the straightened fingers down to the customary length.”

In one case someone’s withered hand is said to have been healed “between the hands of the doctor (inter manus medici)”

When someone’s contracted hand “had touched the oil, the latters power had poured the remedy into it (qua contacta oleo virtus infudit remedium)”; the right hand is said to have been “purged of it’s disability (purgata vitio).”

St Julia of Carthage (or Corsica, Nonza or Malta) [died 439 AD], was declared patron saint of pathologies of hands and feet. No miracles cures attributed to her have been found in this search.

St Julia Carthage, st day 23 May, death 439AD

Miracle at Utica The Classical Journal volume 39 page 53

Hunneric (477-484 AD) send one of the confessors to reap in the hot weather, at Utica. One of them excused himself because he had a withered hand; but when he came to the place, behold a miracle! His hand was restored to its strength, and did him yeoman service.

Bishop Bibianus in Saintes (book Vita 6th century AD )

There was a woman whose hands had withered and were being lacerated by her fingernails; after the tendons contracted her hands lost their ability for work. After she devoutly knelt before the tomb of the blessed saint and offered a prayer, the sinews of her fingers were loosened and she deserved to raise her hands that had been restored in gratitude to the Lord.

Saint Martin (Saints and their miracles in late antique Gaul, by Raymond van Dam; Princeton 1993)

In the case of Saint Martin, one story told of a woman who dreamt of the saint after visiting his shrine hoping for a cure for her paralysed hand. In her dream she felt the saint moving his fingers among hers and she awoke to find the condition improved. In another story a nun named Apra with paralysis in one hand and both feet sought St Martin’s intercession through prayer. One night, we are told, “it seemed to her that an old man came to her and gently touched and stroked all her limbs.” In the morning her feet were cured. Now mobile, she was able to follow the inspiration of another dream and visit Saint Martin’s church, whereupon her hand was healed as well.

In one story, the anointing of
a contracted hand with blessed oil is described as: When the liquid of the blessed oil had been poured out, or rather the ointment of the mystery had been spread about (mysterii potius unguento resperso), the saint restored him to health by another prayer.

The woman whose fingers were bent into her palm and who came [to Tours] (Nov 10th 580AD)

In a similar fashion a woman from Poitiers next deserved to receive a remedy. Her fingers were bent into her palm, her fingernails were, if I may say so, piercing her bones, and her entire hand was already decayed. This pious woman came to the saint’s festival [on 11th November 508 AD] and requested the medicine she hoped for. When the ceremonies were completed as usual, she said to her companions: “I came with a pure heart to request the assistance of the blessed [Martin], but my sins were an obstacle, I did not deserve to receive what I sought. Now that my prayed is finished, let me return to my land still believing, through the goodness of my champion, that a prayer that is faithful to the heart might benefit a feeble body.” After repeating these and similar words as if saying goodbye to the saint, she left. As the daylight was turning into evening, she took lodging along the bank of the Cher River. About midnight she was awakened and gave thanks to God because she still survived, because she was alive, because she was flourishing, and because she had touched the tomb of the blessed bishop. She offered her gratitude while weeping loudly, and then fell asleep again. And behold, a man stood before her who had hair that was white as a swan, who was dressed in purple, and who was carrying a cross in his hand. The man said: “in the name of Christ our Redeemer now you will be healed.” Then he took her hand, placed his own finger among her fingers that were closed in her palm, moved them a bit, and straightened them. As she was seeing this in her dream, the woman awoke and, in praise of God, held up her hand that was healthy even though the blood was still flowing from it. She returned to the church, gave thanks, and left rejoicing….

The man whose hand was paralysed.

A disabled man whose paralysed hand was stiff was praying earnestly in the courtyard that is in front of the tomb of the blessed [Martin]. During the holy vigil for him [before his festival on November 11th 577AD] this man was rewarded; his fingers were straightened, and his hand was healed and restored to its original usage.


Sisulf was a poor man from Le Mans. While he was napping in his little garden at noon, he suffered some unknown mishap and woke from his sleep. Because his fingers were bent into his palm, he lifted his disabled hand in great pain. The pain was overwhelming, and he slipped again into sleep and had a vision. For behold! Standing in front of him was a man dressed in black but with white hair. The man turned to him and said:”Why are you so upset and in tears?” Sisulf said:”Behold, reverent lord, while I was taking a short nap I awoke in pain and lost the use of my hands, but I do not know what misdeed I have committed.” Then the man [replied] just as the Lord to his disciples: a man had been born blind not because either he or his parents had sinned but so tat the power of God might be made manifest in him. He said: “your disability reveals the anguish that awaits sinful people. Therefore now go through the villages and the fortresses, travel as far as the city, and proclaim that everyone is to abstain from perjury and usery and that on Sundays no one is to d any work contrary to the mystical rites. For behold, we will kneel and weep in the presence of the Lord and pray for forgiveness for the people, and if there is subsequent reform among the people, then there is still hope of obtaining. For the wrath of the Lord is causing the hatreds and illnesses and other evils that the people endure. And therefore be prompt in announcing that people are to reform, lest they die a cruel death as a result of their own crimes. After you have done what I have ordered, then hurry to the church at Tours; I will visit you there, and I will beg the Lord that you might be healed.” Sisulf said to him:”I ask you, my lord, tell me who you are; what is your name?” The man replied to him:”I am Martin, bishop of Tours.” With these words of the saint the poor man awoke from his sleep. He took his staff, set out on the required journey, an announced to the people what had been commanded of him. After these events happened, he came to the blessed church during the seventh month [Sept 577AD]. For three days he knelt there, and on the forth day he was rewarded by the saint’s power. For the skin in the palms that were fastened shut was beginning to putrefy; but when his fingers were straightened, blood flowed from his palms. Once all his fingers were healed, with his own mouth he described what I have narrated.

A man from Bourges came to the festival [of Martin on July 4th 585AD]. His hands were disabled, and his fingers were fastened so in one palm that it was thought to swarm with worms. But after the celebration of the festival the fingers on both hands were straightened, and he was restored to health. All the people saw him return to health. The reason for his disability was that he had wished to repair a fence around his crop on a Sunday.

A man with a withered hand

A man with a withered and contracted hand came to this festival [November 11th 589AD] that Bishop Aunacharius of Auxerre attended. Three days after the festival this man returns home with a restored hand.

The man who had a contracted hand

In this same place a man presented his disabled hand. His fingers were so bent that his nails were stabbed into his palms and caused him much pain; sometimes blood trickled pout. This man threw himself before the afore mentioned bed of the glorious lord [Martin]; the pain as well as his faith.

The woman’s fingers that were straightened.

Another woman who’s fingers were bent and fastened to her palm visited the church of the blessed bishop Martin. After a few days had passed, her fingers were straightened while she was offering a prayer and requesting the saint’s assistance, and she received health for her hand.

The woman whose hands were crippled.

Because a woman who lived on the other side of the Loire River was doing a task on a Sunday that ancestral authority prohibits from being done on that day, her hand was bent and stiffened, and her fingers were fastened in her palm. The woman was racked with pains and went to the sacred shrine of the confessor. She promised that if she were healed of this disability, she would thereafter never do this on this day of the Lord’s resurrection anything that was inappropriate to the day. Immediately her fingers were loosened from he palm, her hand was straightened, and she departed.


And behold, there was a man named Bonulf, whos two hands as well as one foot had been crippled three years previously because of the high fever from an illness; although his hands had been restored during a festival of the blessed man, he limped because his foot was still lame. He now knelt before the holy altar and prayed that he who had restored his withered hands might also straighten his crippled foot with a similar display of power. During this prayer Bonulf was surrounded with an intense heat and, as if stabbed with a sharp point, tormented with pain in his tendons. Then the pain made the suppliant defiant, and the man who had come to request medicine began to make false statements. For Bonulf said:”O lord Martin, I sought my health from you, not torments. If I do not deserve my health, let me not be tormented by these pains.” We were standing nearby weeping and hoping for the arrival of the blessed Martin. Meanwhile the sacred ceremonies were being performed and the holy gifts were placed on the altar. While the mystery of the body and blood of Christ was as usual covered by a shroud, the knots on Bonulf’s tendons were softened, the skin on the man’s lame knee was torn, and a trickle of blood flowed out, and he stretched out a healthy foot.

When someone‘s slave from the territory of Tours was repairing a fence on a Sunday, his hand began to stick to the wooden [mallet]. He quickly lifted up his right hand. While he was surprised and amazed at what had happened, his hand was crippled with great pain, his fingernails were also fastened into the palm, and all the fingers on his right hand were bent. He returned in grief to his lodging. Four years later he went to the saint’s church, and after he offered a prayer, he was healed. Then he declared to the people that they not consider what he had done, lest a greedy farmer pollute the celebrations of this great day and lest human weakness, by performing the work of this world, nullify the celestial mystery of the hole resurrection and of our redemption.

Abbot Martinus of Saintes [after 600 AD] Gregory of Tours, life of the fathers [vita patruum] Edward James 1991

Some say that Martinus, an abbot at Saintes, was a student of our Martin [of Tours]. He is buried in peace in a village of Saintes, in the monastery that he build according to the instructions of his teacher. One inhabitant of the countryside presented his hands that were contracted to the tomb of Martinus and returned with them cured.

Exeter Miracles [22ndMay 1133] [Exeter Vignettes, St Peter’s miracle]

A woman, too, with withered hands is seen to clap them, full of joy that they can move.

Longer Saga Magnus ca 1136 Elliot and Whaley 1993 Journal Hand Surgery 18B 363-367

St Magnus Orkney

Another man hight Sigurd, from the north of Shetland; he had cramped hands, so that all the fingers lay in the palms. He sought the halidom of the saint earl Magnus, and there he got his cure with straight and lissom fingers for all his needs. He thanked God for the mercies which had been shown him for the worthiness of earl Magnus

The monk Ilya (from Murom in Pechersk) [1188 AD] (tradition)

About the monk Ilya is known, that he died with the fingers of his right hand formed for prayer in the position accepted even today in the Orthodox Church – the first three fingers together, and the two outermost last fingers contracted into the palm .

Younger and Older Saga of Þorlákr 1198 (Elliot and Whaley)

St Thorlak of Iceland

There was a man called Þόrhallr, poor disabled and old. He had a hand in which the fingers were clenched into the palm, and it had been like this for nearly 60 years; the tendons were knotted so that he could not grasp anything. He wanted to go to Skálaholt and be there when the relics of Bishop Þorlákr were taken up. He hoped for some kind of relief for himself, thinking he would receive this from him if he was there in person. He came late, and on his way met people who had been in Skálaholt when the relics were taken up, and they told of many miracles there. He was dejected at that and much stirred, and he thought he must be paying for his unworthiness, thinking he should not have been there. Then he raised up anew his petition to Bishop Þorlákr, the glorious beloved of God, that he should, out of his worthiness, give him some kind of relief and mercy. After his invocation, he fell asleep at night, full of sorrow, and awoke in the morning completely healed. The fingers were straight and supple, easy to flex and straighten, and there was strength in the hand, whereas before it had been powerless and wasted. There was an itching where the wound had been in the palm under the fingers. The wound had healed and the tendons which had been cut and knotted for a very long time had been loosened. He was completely healed from that day. Everyone who saw or heard of the miracle praised God and the blessed Bishop Þorlákr.

A Miracle Book of Saint Þorlákr before 1224 (Elliot and Whaley)

In Papisfjordr in the East-fjords there was a poor woman whose fingers were disabled: they were clenched into the palm of her right hand. She had two young children to look after. They were playing outside under the wall of the house, when a great driftwood beam fell off the wall onto the children and they were both killed. And when the children were found lifeless, she came under suspicion that something of her causing must have happened. But she denied this and wept so that she was almost flooded with tears, and she put forward all the pleas of innocence which Abbot Jόn (Jόn Ljόtsson, Abbot of Ver, 1197-1224) thought were appropriate to her case. And when Abbot Jόn came into the district, she took the course of swearing an oath, the most rigorous which could be dictated to her (a Fifth [High] Court Oath), and she laid her hand on the casket which contained the hair of the blessed Bishop Þorlákr. And when the oath was complete, she lifted her hand, and the fingers which had been clenched were straight. And all who were present praised almighy God and the blessed bishop Þorlákr.

Guðmundar saga 1161-1237 AD (Sturlunga Saga, shorter saga of the Icelanders)

Guðmund continued his journey westward along the district and when he came to Sauðlausdal he consecrated some water which a woman brought to him in a hat. He then turned north until he reached the home of Þόrð Arason at Keldulal (in Dýrafjörð); his hand was withered and gave him so much pain that he couldn’t cut his own food. During the night, failing to get any sleep, Þόrð went out of doors and, as he re-entered the house he saw a great light shining down on Guðmund’s bed, just like a sunbeam. He stretched out his withered hand into the light which shone on the hand as brightly as it had done before. After this the hand was healed and free from pain and the light faded away.

The life of Guðmundar

From Keldudal Guðmundar went to stay with Árni rauðskegg (red-beard) in Haukadal. In the evening when he was on bed, a woman servant was employed to rub his foot. Her hand was crippled by having two or three of her fingers clenched to the palm. And because Guðmundar thought she was rubbing too gently, he kicked hard with his foot, and his heel struck the bend of her crippled fingers and he pressed it there, causing her pain. But a few nights later she came to visit him and showed him her hand fully restored, and all who saw it gave thanks to God.

St Francis [around 1220 AD] (legend)

A woman with clenched hands so as not to use them, heard about the coming of the Holy [to] Gubbio his city, urged him to regain the use of his [her] hands. Francis heard his prayer and healed her.

Saint Dominic [after 1234 AD] the medieval cult of St Dominic of Silos- Anthony Lappin (Maney Publishing 2002)

A certain foreign woman, being a native of Aragón, conceived and gave birth to a boy and named him in baptism Gomersano. He, however, by the hidden judgement of God,was born with a monstrous hand, the fingers being wholly clenched into the palm so that no one could pull them out, even using all off their strength. This unhappy mother, taking up the child and bringing him to the monastery of Silos, laid him prostrate before the grave of the body of the man of God, Dominic, and with sighs and tears prostrated herself in prayer. Then, rising from prayer, she publicly confessed to all those standing near that it was through the just judgement of God that her most unfortunate little boy had received such a great deformity to his hand, since she conceived him on the Saturday night when the following day was the feast of Palm Sunday, Through the whole night, therefore, she waited for the mercy of the Lord and the help of the holy man, standing unceasingly awake before the altar; the merciful father, Dominic, heard her and absolved the little child from the deformed contraction of his hand. And she who had come in misery returned to her home in joy.

St Elizabeth and St Nicholas [after 1235 AD] La legende Doree, vol 1 Jacobus de Voragine

A man of the diocese of Utrecht, whose name was Gederic, had lost the use of one hand. He visited St Elizabeth’s tomb twice without obtaining a cure but went with much devotion a third time with his wife. On the way he met an old man of venerable aspect, saluted him, and asked where he came from. The old man said that he came from Marburg, where the body of Saint Elizabeth rested, and where many miracles occurred. Gederic told him about his paralysed hand, and the aged man raised his hand and blessed him, saying:”Go with confidence, you will be healed, provided you put your infirm hand into an opening hollowed out n the stone at the head of the tomb, and the farther you thrust your hand in, the speedier your cure will be, and at that moment have St Nicholas in your mind, because he works as companion and associate of Saint Elizabeth in her miracles.” He added that those who, having put down their offerings, left the saints’ shrine immediately, made a foolish mistake, because it pleased the saints when their aid was sought with perseverance. With that the old man disappeared and they saw him no more. They went on their way to Marburg, wondering about his appearance and disappearance, but fully confident that they would obtain the cure they sought. Gederic therefore followed the old man’s advice, putting his hand in under the stone at the head of the tomb, and when he withdrew it, it was perfectly sound.

Saint Anthony (around 1480AD) (legend)

Prosdocima of Noventa, the widow of Mainerio, had a left hand and both feet that were contracted. She was carried to the blessed Anthony’s sepulchre in a wooden tub. When she was raised above the ark, her feet were immediately straightened and restored to their original use through the merits of the blessed Anthony. Her hand, to be sure, opened a little, trembling at first, and then stretched out so that, while everyone looked on, she closed and opened it. Taken down from the ark, she at once jumped to her feet and, having regained the health she desired, she departed full of joy.

Charles Borromeo [around or just after 1600AD] life of Saint Charles Borromeo -J P Giussano

A severe illness attacked the countess Anna Miskowski, of the family of the Marquis of Mirow, and wife of John Branicki, count of Ruiscza, captain of Briec and Niepolonicze, near Cracow in Poland. She entirely lost her natural strength and the use of her hands, which were inflamed and contracted so that she was unable to make use of her fingers, being on that account obliged to be dressed and undressed, and have even her bread cut by others. Beyond this she suffered severe pains that allowed her no repose day or night, and she often desired that God would call her to Himself rather than permit her to endure so intolerable a punishment. The malady was considered incurable, because during the space of eleven years she had tried many remedies, produced not only from Poland but from Italy and other countries. Though she had recourse also to prayer to God and to the saints to whom she was particularly devoted, nothing did her any good, but she became worse. Therefore there remained for her nothing further to do than to pray to God for patience, which she did with many tears. It happened that her servant, Giovanni Rinaldi, went to Bologna, his native place, upon business, and upon his return to Poland a portrait of St Charles was given him by Sister Felice Riaria, a nun in the convent of Corpus Domini, to take to the countess, in the hope that she might by its means get her hands cured. She received it with reverence on her knees, and having placed it in her chamber, said her prayers before it when much troubled with the pain in her hands, in the hope that the Saint might aid her, as she had heard of his sanctity of those who had known him in life. At the end of six weeks, on the festival of All Saints, in the year 1604, having been attacked by the pain in her hands with more severity than usual, she prostrated herself, with abundance of tears, before the picture, uttering these words: ” Holy Cardinal, pray for me; I am unworthy to be heard; obtain for me, a poor sinner, mercy from Jesus; I fear by impatience in my pains to bring down on myself the anger of God.” Hardly had she finished this prayer when she felt all pain suddenly cease, and the contracted fingers regained their powers. She immediately acquainted her husband with the signal favour she had received from St. Charles; and the report rapidly spreading through the district, such was the concourse of people to see the miraculous picture of the Saint, that to satisfy their devotion it was placed in the parish church dedicated to Ten Thousand Martyrs in the chapel of St. Anne, with two silver hands in memory of the miracle.

Blessed Peter of Tiverno [1405 -1445 AD] (legend)

A poor woman who was hindered from earning her livelyhood by reason of a withered hand, once implored the holy man to touch and heal it. Moved with compassion, he made the sign of the cross over it from a distance, and it was instantly restored to soundness.

Priest with clenched hand, 1482 AD 9.Kal.May 23 April St Peter’s, Rome (f 199r)

To Henry Wingefield, rector of Bachonthorpe, in the diocese of Norwich, M.A. Dispensation, as below. His recent petition contained that after he had obtained by canonical collation the parish church of Bachonthorpe he was wounded by certain adversaries in his right hand, and that it is so much weakened, and its fingers so much contracted and bent, that he cannot touch his thumb with his first finger. The pope, therefore, dispenses him, who is of noble birth, and is in or about his twenty-second year, at his own petition and that of King Edward king of England, to have himself promoted forthwith (et nunc) to all, even holy and priests orders, by any catholic bishop of his choice in communion with the apostolic see, and to minister therein, but not in the ministry of the altar. Nobilitas generis, litteratum etc.”


Raymond Van Dam, Saints and their Miracles in Late Antique Gaul, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993

Edward James Gregory of Tours: Life of the Fathers. Translated by Edward James. Translated Texts for Historians, Latin Series 1. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1985. 163 pp

Anthony Lappin, The Medieval Cult of Saint Dominic of Silos. Leeds: Maney Publishing, for the Modern Humanities Research Association, 2002.

Irina Metzler. A Social History of Disability in the Middle Ages. New York: Routledge, 2013. 346 pp. , ISBN 978-0-415-82259-6.

Whaley DC, Elliot D. Dupuytren’s disease: a legacy of the north? J Hand Surg [Br] 1993;18:363–367.