In the Gospel accounts, this miracle immediately follows the exorcism at Gerasa and is combined with the miracle of the Daughter of Jairus. The incident occurred while Jesus was traveling to Jairus' house, amid a large crowd:
The woman's condition, which is not clear in terms of a modern medical diagnosis, is translated as an "issue of blood" in the King James Version and a "flux of blood" in the Wycliffe Bible and some other versions. In scholarly language she is often referred to by the original New Testament Greek term as the haemorrhoissa (? , "bleeding woman"). The text describes her as ? (gyn? haimorroousa d?deka et?), with haimorroousa being a verb in the active voice present participle ("having had a flow [rh?on], of blood [haima]"). Some scholars view it as menorrhagia; others as haemorrhoids.
Because of the continual bleeding, the woman would have been continually regarded in Jewish law as a niddah or menstruating woman, and so ceremonially unclean. In order to be regarded as clean, the flow of blood would need to stop for at least 7 days. Because of the constant bleeding, this woman lived in a continual state of uncleanness which would have brought upon her social and religious isolation.
Matthew's and Luke's accounts specify the "fringe" of his cloak, using a Greek word which also appears in Mark 6. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia article on fringes in scripture, the Pharisees (one of the sects of Second Temple Judaism) who were the progenitors of modern Rabbinic Judaism, were in the habit of wearing extra-long fringes or tassels (Matthew 23:5), a reference to the formative çîçîth (tzitzit). Because of the Pharisees' authority, people regarded the fringe with a mystical quality.
Eusebius, writing in the reign of Constantine I says he himself saw a pair of statues in bronze in Panease or Caesarea Philippi (on the Golan Heights in modern terms) of Jesus and the haemorrhoissa, sculpture being at this time an unusual form for the depiction of Jesus. By his description they resembled a sculptural version of the couple as they were shown in a number of paintings in the Catacombs of Rome (see illustration at top). He sees this in terms of ancient traditions of commemorating local notables rather than newer ones of Early Christian art. The statues were placed outside the house of the woman, who came from the city, and was called Veronica (meaning "true image"), according to the apocrypha Acts of Pilate and later tradition, which gave other details of her life.
When Julian the Apostate became emperor in 361 he instigated a programme to restore Hellenic paganism as the state religion. In Panease this resulted in the replacement of the statue of Christ, with results described by Sozomen, writing in the 440s:
However, it has been pointed out since the 19th century that the statues were probably a misunderstanding or distortion of a sculptural group in fact originally representing the submission of Judea to the Emperor Hadrian. Images of this particular coupling, typical of Roman Imperial adventus imagery, appear on a number of Hadrian's coins, after the suppression of the Bar Kokhba revolt of 132-136. The statues seem to have been buried in a landslide and some time later rediscovered and interpreted as Christian. Since Caesarea Philippi had been celebrated for its temple of the god Pan, a Christian tourist attraction was no doubt welcome news for the city's economy.
Representations of the episode which seem clearly to draw on the lost statue, and so resemble surviving coins of the imperial image, appear rather frequently in Early Christian art, with several in the Catacombs of Rome, as illustrated above, on the Brescia Casket and Early Christian sarcophagi, and in mosaic cycles of the Life of Christ such as San Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna. It continued to be depicted sometimes until the Gothic period, and then after the Renaissance.
The story was later elaborated in the 11th century in the West by adding that Christ gave her a portrait of himself on a cloth, with which she later cured Tiberius. This Western rival to the Image of Edessa or Mandylion eventually turned into the major Western icon of the Veil of Veronica, now with a different story for "Veronica". The linking of this image with the bearing of the cross in the Passion, and the miraculous appearance of the image was made by Roger d'Argenteuil's Bible in French in the 13th century, and gained further popularity following the internationally popular work, Meditations on the Life of Christ of about 1300 by a Pseudo-Bonaventuran author. It is also at this point that other depictions of the image change to include a crown of thorns, blood, and the expression of a man in pain, and the image became very common throughout Catholic Europe, forming part of the Arma Christi, and with the meeting of Jesus and Veronica becoming one of the Stations of the Cross.
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