TOBIAS WAS A YOUNG man when he ran into the angel Raphael, and not knowing that he was an angel at all, let alone one of seven great ones who stand and enter before the glory of the Lord, Tobias hired him at a drachma a day to be his traveling companion. Accompanied by Tobias's dog, they had a series of adventures that were nothing less than extraordinary.
Tobias almost lost his foot to a great fish. He discovered a cure for his father's blindness. He picked up a large sum of money that his father had left with a friend. And after first curing a young woman named Sarah of a demon who had caused her first seven husbands to perish on their wedding nights, he not only married her himself but lived to tell the tale.
But the best part of the story is the short, no-nonsense prayer with which he married her. "And now I take not this my sister for lust, but in truth," he said. "Command that I and she may find mercy and grow old together. Amen" (Tobit 8:8-9).
Never has the knot been more securely or simply or eloquently tied, and it's small wonder that it lasted them through a long and happy marriage that did not come to an end until Tobias died in peace at the age of one hundred and seventeen.
- Originally published in Peculiar Treasures