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God had instructed Moses, “Speak to the people of Israel and tell them that they and their descendants are to put tassels on the hem of their garments and a purple cord on this tassel” (Num 15:38). The purpose of the tassels was that “the sight of them will remind you of all the commands of the LORD” (Num 15:39). Jesus also wore such an outer garment with four tassels prescribed by the law.

According to Malachi 3:20 (4:2), “for you who fear my name, the sun of justice will arise with healing in its wings.” When Jesus came as this sun of justice or Messiah, people touched his outer garment considering it as his wings for the prophesied healing. Since this woman believed Jesus as the Messiah, she touched his tassel with faith. According to Mark 5:28, “If I just touch his clothes, I shall be healed.”
There were other instances where the sick people touched the tassel of Jesus’ garment and got healed. Matthew records that when Jesus and his disciples reached Gennesaret, people brought the sick to him and “begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak, and as many as touched it were healed” (Mt 14:36). Mark also reports the same (Mk 6:53-56).

There were similar instances of healing power flowing from the clothes or even the shadow of the apostles and other saints. Saint Luke records in the Acts of the Apostles about Saint Paul: “when face cloths or aprons that touched his skin were applied to the sick, their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them” (Acts 19:12). An even greater and strange way of healing happened with Saint Peter. “Thus they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and mats so that when Peter came by, at least his shadow might fall on one or another of them. A large number of people from the towns in the vicinity of Jerusalem also gathered, bringing the sick, and those disturbed by unclean spirits, and they were all cured” (Acts 5:15-16). The faithful have used relics of saints as instruments of God’s miracles and healing.

During Jesus’s journey to heal Jairus’s daughter, a woman with a hemorrhage reached out and touched the tassel on his cloak. Through this act of faith, she experienced healing from Jesus (Lk 8:43-48).


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