Healing Touching, i.e., stroking the patient's face with both hands, to remove the scrofula, significantly called the king's evil, was practiced by the kings of France as early as Clovis or Philip I, kings of Hungary, and English sovereigns, from Edward the Confessor to queen Anne, who touched Dr. Johnson. Bradwardine says that crowds resorted to the kings of England, France, and Germany. Solemn prayer and the sign of the cross, first laid aside by James I, were used. Henry II and Edward I practiced the touch. The ceremonial took place on a progress, on Good Friday, monthly, quarterly, or at Michaelmas, Easter, and Whitsuntide, and in 1683 from All-Saints till a week before Christmas, and from Christmas till March 1. The first form of service was drawn up in the reign of Henry VII. The gospel (Mr 16:14) was read while the king laid on his hands, and during another (Joh 1:1), at the words "the light," an angel, noble, or medal with St. Michael stamped on it was attached by a white ribbon round the neck of the patient, who had to produce a certificate of his malady, Signed by the parish priest and churchwardens, and was examined by the king's surgeon-in-waiting. The faculty of healing was popularly attributed also to the ninth son of a ninth son, or the seventh son of the seventh son.

Definition of healing

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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