In the middle of the tenth-century, Bishop Paul of southern Greece found a naked woman who told him her story:~

She was from the city of Larissa, born of poor parents. When she was orphaned she was taken into the house of a rich man, who, when she came of age, married her to his only son.

The son’s friends insulted him, reminding him what his father had done to him: “A woman of your own social standing was never found for you and he has given you this penniless and low-born wife.”

The young girl, seeing her husband’s humiliation, ran away, taking only the clothes she was wearing, finding a boat and coming to the island. Only later did she realise she was pregnant. She gave birth to a boy, and made swaddling from her clothes.

When Bishop Paul found her, the ‘child’ was thirty, and was naked too. The woman said to Paul: “Every day I have implored God to …send a priest to illuminate my don by holy baptism. And behold, the Lord has not refused my prayer but has sent you, His servant, to fulfil my desire.

[The spiritually Beneficial Tales of Paul, Bishoip of Monembasia, Cistercian Publications, 1996]