St. Martin’s blessing is bestowed on two cripples who don’t want it

Pocket Bard’s notes: I find this a refreshing story after all the tales of cripples who bed and plead for a saint’s intercession to be healed. Here we have two men, a cripple and a blind man, who are perfectly happy with their lot in life and don’t even want to be healed, but they’re healed anyway… and hate it. Also, I love the line, “since God bestows blessings even on those who do not ask for them.” It reminds me of the father from Fiddler on the Roof, bemoaning his “blessing” of many daughters.


St. Martin’s blessing is bestowed on two cripples who don’t want it
The Golden Legend, Volume II, trans. William Granger Ryan, p.300

It is also said that [when St. Martin’s body was being transferred to a new church] there were two partners, one of whom was blind and the other paralyzed, and the blind man hauled the cripple around in a cart and the cripple told him where to go. By begging this way they made a good living. Then they heard that many infirm people were cured when they came close to Saint Martin’s body, and especially when the body was carried around the church, and they began to fear that the said body might be carried close to the house where they lived, and they by chance might be made whole—which they did not want to happen, because it would deprive them of their income. So they moved their domicile to another street, thinking that the sacred body was never carried that way. But just as they were moving, they met the body being carried in procession, and since God bestows blessings even on those who do not ask for them, the two partners found themselves completely cured against their will and were sorely aggrieved at this turn of fortune.

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