This book on Saints Who Raised the Dead is a kick.
I never thought of myself as someone who minimizes the miraculous elements of the faith but I'm beginning to realize that I really didn't grasp the half of it. And that (as I suspected) the astonishing stories that we are now hearing from the global south are matched by the stories told about what God has done in the past.
And it isn't all naivete, urban legends, and credulousness. The author separates the less well attested miracles into a chapter at the back of the book and seems to have made an effort to be careful. That doesn't mean all the stories in this book are historical but many were witnessed and well attested. I'll pick out and choose.
Since I have so many stories now, I'm going to share one a day for the rest of the Easter season.
Let's begin with the observations of St. Irenaeus in Against the Heresies:
"Some persons that were dead have been raised again and have continued among us many years. Nor can we sum up the miraculous works which the Church, by the gift of God, performs every day over the world in the name of Jesus Christ."
Writing about the inability of Simon Magnus to work miracles, Irenaeus wrote:
"So far are they from raising the dead, as our Lord raised them, and as the Apostles did by prayer, and as in the brotherhood oftentimes is done, when the whole church of the place hath begged it with much fasting and prayer, and the spirit of the man hath returned and the man hath been given back to the prayers of the saints."