Biography of American Healer Francis Schlatter Part 2

About the American faith healer Francis Schlatter who is now largely forgotten, history and biography of the man.

FOOTNOTE PEOPLE IN U.S. HISTORY

FRANCIS SCHLATTER (1852?-1896?).

Healer

Shortly after the first awakening of his inner voice, Schlatter left Denver to begin wandering in solitude so that he might further develop his powers through prayer and fasting. Barefoot and bright-hearted he set out, with no idea of where the Father would lead him. He took along some cobblers' tools to earn his keep at any ranches he might pass. By nightfall of the first day, though, he had thrown his tools aside, confident that his Father would provide for him as well as direct him.

For the next two years Schlatter wandered alone across Colorado, Kansas, Texas, California, Nevada, and New Mexico. Barefoot and carrying only a bucket of water and a bag of flour, he had little more than the strength of his purpose to carry him through relentless adversity.

The only extant biographical account of his life is Schlatter's own fragmentary record of this remarkable journey. In awkward immigrant syntax, Schlatter sets forth a painfully personal and unpretentious account of his many doubts, of countless illnesses and annoyances, and of the hostility and skepticism that greeted him wherever he ventured to use his growing healing powers. In those times, a man might be arrested for neglecting to wear a hat or shoes in public--and it was for such offenses that Schlatter was jailed in Kansas and Texas.

For the most part, Schlatter kept out of sight, walking along railroad right-of-ways. Inevitably though, as his healing powers grew, he attracted public notice. It was in New Mexico that the newspapers caught up with the "Christ-Man" healer--first denouncing him as a fraud and then incredulously extolling his miraculous cures.

Amidst wildfire public acclaim, Schlatter literally made his way through crowds from Albuquerque, N.M., back to Denver. There he saw skeptics and supplicants alike, gathered from across the country and abroad. Most who came for help got it; and all who saw him--plain, unspeaking, and undeniably Christ-like in appearance--conceded his sincerity.

Schlatter's manner of healing was as unpretentious as the rest of his life. Each morning at six, he stood at the gate of his current host's home to receive people. Usually several thousand would already be waiting in line. Schlatter faced them one by one, taking each patient's right hand in his right hand, then reaching across to grasp the left hand with his left hand. Eyes upturned, he would then silently recite the Lord's Prayer. At times of extraordinary effort, he would sway slightly and the words of his prayer would be barely audible. Schlatter never accepted any reward. He never spoke to anyone concerning their ailments or cure, and only on occasion would he remind the excessively grateful that it was the Father, not he, who healed.

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