Letters from Antioch: Healing Sarah, the woman with AIDS

In Tahoe Pines there is a gravel road saddled on either side by quaint old Victorian homes. A middle-aged woman, Cato Tonikus’ mother stood by one of those homes, yelling half way down the road, “Why did you do this to me? Why do you hate me? Cato Tonikus just look at the spot on this dish.”

Victorian home in Tahoe Pines

A lady with AIDS came to Salvador, kneeled on her knees, and touched the floor, “I know I am a W. A .S. P. and you are Lakota. My name is Sarah.”

She kissed Salvador’s feet, and begged him, “If you want, you can cure me.”

Salvador felt compassion for her and touched her.

A flying bug, a wasp landed on Hugh Christos. Slapping at it he grumbled, “Darned wasp.”

Talking with wasps

Salvador chirped, “Hi Sarah, so good to see you. Tell the family I said hello. If you see your cousin Debbie, tell her the same.”

He turned to Sarah and commanded, “I do want it. I order you, ‘Be cleaned of your virus.”

Lee Stone asked Salvador, “Isn’t it strange to be talking to bugs?”

Salvador explained, “But these are special bugs. A wasp in the sacred language comes from a word that means oppression. As such, it is the word for leprosy or AIDS. The word, ‘From Oppression,’ in the sacred language is the word for Egypt, which is any land where we suffer oppression.”


Salvador also related, “The word for a bee is Debra or Debbie. It is also the word for ‘a word’. Words can come as sweet as honey, and they can come with the nasty sting of a bee. Remember, the sting hurts its victim, but it kills the bee. May your words all be as sweet as honey.”

The disease, AIDS, immediately left Sarah, leaving her healthy.

She told Salvador, “I have an inner strength I have not felt since my youth.”

Salvador told her, “Don’t tell anyone. First, go to confession and show the priests what happened to you. This will be proof to them of who I am.”

Lee Stone asked Salvador in private, “That is a strange choice of words.”

Salvador reminded Lee Stone, “Prayer is a reflexive verb, and true healing comes from within. Yes, Lee, she needed help in his healing, help that can only come from faith in Pop. The healing was hers to do. The healing came more from within her than it came from me. I was merely the bridge between her and Pop. We should all be bridges between Pop and the people.”

The report about Salvador spread among the people, and great crowds assembled to listen to Salvador and for him to cure them of their ailments. Salvador preferred to withdraw to deserted places to pray his Liturgy of the Hours for his quiet time as required of a Catholic religious.


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