The prophet Elisha was the pupil of another prophet, Elijah. He went on to become Elijah’s successor, performing many miracles. One of the most significant was the healing of Naaman the Syrian, an army commander who suffered from a skin disease (2 Kings 5:1-27). Naaman appealed to Elisha for healing and was told to bathe in the sacred Jordan river, which cleared up his condition. The story was mentioned by Christ as an example of how the blessings of God had and should extend even to those who were not from Israel (Luke 4:27).
The miraculous life of Elisha was later summed up by the biblical writer Sirach, who wrote: “When Elijah was enveloped in the whirlwind, Elisha was filled with his spirit. He performed twice as many signs, and marvels with every utterance of his mouth. Never in his lifetime did he tremble before any ruler, nor could anyone intimidate him at all.” (Sirach 48:12)
This image of Elisha (or ‘Eliseus’, his Greek name) is found within the National Shrine of St Jude in Faversham, which is run by the Carmelites. Elijah and Elisha are popular Carmelite saints and both are featured at this shrine. Elisha is correctly shown as a bald man – a feature for which he was mocked by some children (2 Kings 2:23). The stained glass window was installed in 1957 and is by the Irish artist Richard King.
See the full image:
Where to find this work of art
National Shrine of St Jude, Faversham
Read the relevant passage
2 Kings 5:1-27