God of the Month: AESCULAPIUS, the Healer

aesuplrod

During a plague, the Romans went to Greece to seek the aid of Aesculapius, the Greek God of Healing. The priests at Epidaurus, his main cult center in southern Greece, refused to help the Romans. Then one of the snakes who lived around the temple came aboard the boat of the dejected Romans. Because this Snake was so heavy and large, they realized that It was Aesculapius, Himself. When they entered the Tiber River, the Snake left the boat and stayed on an island. There the Romans built a temple to Aesculapius to thank Him for His help.

At his temple on the island in the Tiber, people would come to be cured. They waited for the God to come to them in a dream and restore them to health. Afterwards, the people would offer votive figures of organs, arms, and legs to Aesculapius.

The Romans regarded the Aesculapian snake (the species of snake around the temple) synonymous with healing. Touching the snake would cure an ill person. Also this snake would point out various herbs for remedies. After transporting this species of snake in earthenware containers, the Romans would release Him around their baths and temples. For them, the Aesculapian snake was a representative of their God of Healing – Aesculapius.

A snake entwined around a rod has become the symbol for Aesculapius. Called by various names – Staff of Aesculapius, Rod of Aesculapius, Asklepian – this symbol now represents the medical profession. Many medical personnel such as first responders have it as part of their insignia.

Salve kind Aesculapius!
Gentle Healer
Come to us in our dreams

We pray for your mild touch
We pray for your tender compassion
Heal us, we ask.

Salve kind Aesculapius!
Gentle Healer

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One thought on “God of the Month: AESCULAPIUS, the Healer

  1. Pingback: Gods of the Month: January | Neptune's Dolphins

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