In the days of Pentecost we think about the Holy Spirit in the Christian Church. This topic is particularly important for Christian medicine. Healing is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. In the old church, this is understood not only spiritually, but also very specifically medically.

The symbol of the Holy Spirit is the dove. I think we all know pigeons. You can actually find them everywhere. They can be used to study the divine selfless love - Caritas (Agape) - which is the basis of Christian faith and medicine.

Poor people medicine.

In the old biblical tradition, the pigeon is the sacrificial animal of the poor. Even Maria and Joseph were unable to sacrifice more than pigeons after the birth of their first son Jesus. To this day, pigeons are one of the cheap, easy-to-obtain remedies for alternative medicine.

The inconspicuous robe

Pigeons appear very inconspicuous from the outside. Have you ever noticed that you don't notice pigeons at all? Who sees a gray pigeon? For the monks, the dove is an image for God. He has “concealed the immeasurable splendor of his glory as long as they are in the shadow of death” (LDO I, 5).

Don't judge from the outside! You cannot see from the outside what a great and important remedy the pigeon is. And so there are many things that we don't see. The Almighty God is outwardly inconspicuous - like a dove.

Pay attention for the little things

When we treat the sick, we notice that buying a medicine does not necessarily improve the state of health. There are so many other things that are important for treatment: enough food, healthy air, clean water, a heart full of love and forgiveness….

The drug is sometimes less important than the relationship between the healer and the patient. The basis of all healing is merciful love. It is the most important medicine. But their great power remains hidden from our eyes, is covered. They are the inconspicuous signs of love that extend beyond our time to eternity.

Benedict of Nursia (480 - 547)

The great church father Benedict of Nursia was an important healer, but he made no fuss about it. In the picture you can see how he heals a leper.

Regula Benedicti § 36

  1.  Care for the sick must be before and above everything; one should serve them as if they were really Christ;
  2. As he said: I was sick and you visited me;
  3. And what you did to one of these least, you did to me.

We no longer recognize that medicine is hidden here. The monks imitated God's behavior. They gave up special clothing, left home and yard and everything that would give them dignity to serve God with humility

Many Christians still live according to his rule today. The Mercy lifestyle is very healthy. It forms the basis of monastery medicine.

Recognize yourself in the pigeon

The people of the Bible assume that we can learn a lot about God and about ourselves in nature. In the Bible the Holy Spirit is compared to a dove. This picture says not only something about God, but about myself.

God created man with a wonderful robe. The prehistory of paradise describes how God personally meets man in the Garden of Eden. Anyone who travels with a high-profile personality today is definitely worried about appropriate clothing. So Adam was definitely dressed in such a way that he could deal with the almighty God.

But man lost his dress through the fall. He recognizes himself as naked - without his beauty and dignity. It has turned gray in gray - nobody special anymore.

The principle of similarity

God voluntarily made himself like man. He didn't lose his wonderful dress, but he hid it - his glory escaped human eyes. He became man in Jesus Christ and walked a path of humiliation until death on the cross. All to help us - even if we have lost our beauty.

Dom zu Speyer
Dom zu Speyer

The pigeon - a sacrificial animal

For the first time we come across the pigeon in the New Testament as a sacrificial animal for the poor who couldn't afford anything better. Maria and Joseph sacrifice two young pigeons after the birth of Jesus (Luke 2.22 ff). The Christians did not continue the old Jewish rite of sacrifice. The sacrifice of Christ on the cross once and for all included all victims. In the Lord's Supper, Christ's sacrifice is present in bread and wine.

But the memory of the victim of the dove  is still present in ancient Christian art. The picture from Ravenna, Italy, dates from the 6th century. You can see the communion chalice with the wine and three pigeons. It is no longer the dove that is sacrificed, but Christ himself. Note: The sacrifice belongs to the healing of body and soul.

Ravenna, 6th century
Ravenna, 6th century

Dove in Chinese Medicine

Cook the prepared (plucked) pigeon in water for 40 minutes, add salt and spices, eat twice a week for a longer period.

Depending on the illness, medicinal herbs are cooked as support.

Medical effects

Pigeon detoxifies, strengthens vitality and regulates blood flow. It is given for example for weakness, thirst, chronic malaria, blood deficiency in women, skin diseases, nerve weakness that is caused by night work./Wu Yanping