A Garner of Saints – Tobias

etchinf of Raphael the angel holding a jar of fish bile and guiding Tobit to his father; by A. Zucchi, c. 1720;  Wellcome Collection; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

Tobit of the tribe of Naphtali was led captive in the time of Enemessar, King of the Assyrians, and when all his race fell away and sacrificed to Baal, he alone went to Jerusalem at the feasts, offering the first fruits and tenths at the altar. Arrived at man’s estate, he married Anna and begat Tobias. In his captivity he refrained from eating, and he found favour in the sight of Enemessar, who made Tobit his purveyor. And Tobit gave many alms to the brethren and clothes to the naked, and when he found any of his nation who had been slain by the king in his wrath, he buried them privily. This becoming known, Tobit was obliged to flee for his life, but afterwards returned to Nineveh and was pardoned. Now at the feast of Pentecost, Tobit, Anna and Tobias sat down to a good dinner which was prepared for them, and Tobit sent his son to fetch in any poor Jew whom he should find. But Tobias returned saying that he had found an Israelite lying dead in the market place, for he had been strangled. At this Tobit rose up and buried the man. And as he was sleeping by the wall of his courtyard, with his face uncovered, for he was polluted, he was blinded by the excrement of a sparrow. And being rendered useless, his wife worked for him, and received a kid for an alms beyond her wage, and she mocked at him. But Tobit wept and prayed to the Lord. In that day Tobit remembered the money which he had committed to Gabael in Rages of Media, and calling his son, he commanded him to give him burial, to honour his mother, and serve God, give alms, marry a wife of his father’s race, and to live chastely and temperately. And Tobit sent his son to fetch the money, and as Tobias was seeking for a companion, he fell in with the archangel Raphael, though he knew it not; and after Raphael had been seen by Tobit, it was agreed that he should go with Tobias. As they journeyed, they came to the river Tigris, and when Tobias went down to wash himself, a fish leaped up and would have devoured him. However, being instructed by the angel, Tobias took the fish and drew it to land. And the angel commanded him to take out the heart and liver and gall, and preserve them. After he had done this, they ate the fish and proceeded on their journey. And Tobias asked why they took the heart and liver and gall, to which the angel replied that the heart and liver if burned, would deliver a man from the devil, and that the gall would cure those who had whiteness in the eyes. Reaching the town of Ecbatana, they came to the house of Raguel, and Sarah his daughter came out to meet them. Now she had been betrothed to seven husbands who had all been strangled by a demon before the marriage night. And when Raguel leamed that Tobias was the son of his kinsman Tobit, he welcomed him with great joy, entertaining him sumptuously. And when it was proposed that Tobias should marry Sarah, Raguel related all that the demon had done. Tobias, however, declared that he would eat no more until they had agreed and sworn to each other. Then Raguel called Sarah and he gave her to Tobias and blessed them both, and the covenants were written and sealed. After they had supped, Tobias remembered the words of Raphael, and taking the heart and liver of the fish he made a smoke therewith, upon which the evil spirit fled to the uttermost part of Egypt, and the angel bound him. And in the morning Raguel prepared a grave, expecting to find Tobias dead, but when he discovered that he was alive, he rejoiced greatly, and they kept the wedding feast fourteen days. And Tobias sent Raphael to Rages to bring him to the wedding together with the money, and he did so. After the fourteen days Tobias departed with his wife, and Raguel gave him half his goods. And as. they approached Nineveh, Raphael advised Tobias to haste before his wife to prepare the house and to take the gall of the fish. So they went their way and the dog with them. NowTobit and Anna had waited the coming of Tobias, and the time of the joumey was long past, so that Anna complained, saying her son was dead. When therefore she saw them coming, she ran out and embraced her son. But Tobias went to his father and rubbed the gall on his eyes, and immediately the eyes began to smart, the whiteness peeled away, and he saw his son and embraced him. Then Tobit went out to the gate of Nineveh to meet Sarah, and he blessed her and they kept the wedding for seven days. After this Tobit called Raphael, and offered him half of the things which they had brought, but Raphael drew them both aside, and after exhorting them he declared himself to them. Then they were both filled with fear, but Raphael comforted them, and when they arose they saw him no more. After these things, Tobit praised God and he gave alms and increased in the fear of the Lord. At length he called his son, and his son’s six sons, exhorting them to go into Media because Jonah had prophesied the destruction of Nineveh, to bury him and to observe the law and commandments of the Lord. When he had said these things, he gave up the ghost and they buried him honourably. Anna also they buried, and departed to Ecbatana to Raguel. And in the fulness of time Tobias died at Ecbatana, but before his end he heard of the destruction of Nineveh, and he rejoiced over it.

Attribute

  • Carries a fish.

MLA Citation

  • Allen Banks Hinds, M.A. “Tobias”. A Garner of Saints, 1900. CatholicSaints.Info. 26 April 2017. Web. 29 June 2017. <>