St. Augustine’s finger miraculously replaces an impostor’s

Pocket Bard’s notes: I think this story is fascinating for the things left unsaid: How did God transform the impostor finger into the saint’s true finger? What sort of miracles did it work? What was that great “gotcha!” moment like for the dishonest monk? I think this could be a great funny story, if done properly. Obviously, it would require a bit of work.

St. Augustine’s finger miraculously replaces an impostor’s
The Golden Legend, Volume II, trans. William Granger Ryan, p.129

A man who loved Augustine deeply paid the monk who was the guardian of the saint’s body a large sum of money, for which the monk was to give him a finger from the body. The monk took the money but gave the man a finger, wrapped in silk, from another dead body, pretending that it was Augustine’s finger. The man accepted the relic piously and worshiped it with devotion, frequently touching it to his mouth and eyes and clasping it to his bosom. Seeing his faith, God mercifully and miraculously gave him one of Saint Augustine’s fingers, throwing away the supposititious one. When the man returned to his home country, many miracles occurred there, and the fame of the relic spread to Pavia. When the aforesaid monk declared that the finger belonged to some other dead man, the saint’s tomb was opened and it was found that a finger was indeed missing. The abbot learned of this, took the monk’s charge away from him, and punished him severely.


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