Jesus Cures the Son of the Widow of Naim

12th-13th century
Cathedral of the Assumption, Monreale, Sicily

This episode is recounted in Luke 7:11-17. As Jesus and a crowd of followers approach the gates of Naim, they see a large funeral procession leaving through the gate, carrying the decedent, the only son of a widow. Pitying the widow, Jesus brings the man back to life with the words "young man, I say to thee, arise."

The mosaic shows Jesus' followers and the gate on the left. The mourners are on the right, one of them with a candle to signify funeral rites. As the widow and her women friends bow to Jesus in supplication, he blesses the man with his right hand while grasping his wrist with his left. This is a gesture seen several times in the Monreale mosaics. Schiller (I, 179-80) says it "denotes the giving of life or transmission of power."

The inscription above reads, IESUS FILIUM VIDUE RESUSCITAT EXTRA PORTAM CIVITATIS NAYM, "Jesus revives the son of the widow outside the gate of the city of Naim."

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