The Woman with the Flow of Blood

6th century
Mosaic
Church of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna

This is one of the 13 mosaics along the upper band of the left wall of the nave that follow the life of Christ. The mosaics show a youthful Jesus without a beard. He usually blesses a person with the fingers of his right hand held in the "Old Believers" configuration, but in this case the fingers are spread wide.

The episode is told in Matthew 9:20-22, Mark 5:25-34, and Luke 8:43-48. The woman makes her way through a large crowd and touches a tassel on Jesus' cloak, hoping to be cured of a flow of blood. Jesus asks who just touched him and, in Mark and Luke, she falls down on the ground and admits that it was she. The three men standing on the right in this mosaic signify the crowd; the one left of Jesus is one of his disciples.

Alternatively this could be the "Syrophoenician woman" of Mark 7:24-30, who also falls down at Jesus' feet, begging him to cure her daughter, but no crowd is mentioned in that passage.

See also a view of the entire left wall with commentary on the iconography of Jesus and the apostles in these mosaics.

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More of the Miracles of Jesus

Photographed at the church by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.