Let’s examine at the tradition of Pontius Pilate’s wife and the horrific dream that she had in Matthew 27 and how it relates to the Apostles and Nicene Creed.
In our New Saint Thomas Institute Catholic Church History series on the Arian Heresy Controversy and the Council of Constantinople, our student Alicia asks:
Is there a reason why the name of Pontius Pilate was included in the second creed?
Pontius Pilate’s name is in the Creeds because it anchors the life of Christ into human history, specifically Roman history. If you interested in the redemptive meaning of Rome, the Roman Pontius Pilate, and the Roman cross of execution in the redemption of man by a Jewish Messiah, please see my book The Eternal City: Rome and the Origins of Catholicism.
There is a “tradition” that Pontius Pilate’s wife Claudia Procula had a dream of billions of people chanting “sub Pontio Pilato” over and over and over.
What she was hearing was the billions of Christians who recite “He was crucified under Pontius Pilate.”
Most woman would be honored to know that their husband’s name would be on the lips of billions over a period of 20 centuries. But in the case of this Prefect of Judaea, it is the notorious reputation of being the remote efficient cause of Christ’s crucifixion.
The dream of “Claudia” is referred to in Matthew 27:19:
While Pilate was sitting in the judgment hall, his wife sent him a message: “Have nothing to do with that innocent man, because in a dream last night, I suffered much on account of him.”
If the tradition is true, she dreamed of the countless recitations and liturgical chants of “under Pontius Pilate.”
Origen is the first to mention that she converted to Christianity. She is a saint. In art, she is depicted as whispering into the ear of Pontius. Mel Gibson’s Passion depicts Claudia giving linens to the Blessed Mother to collect the Blood of Christ from the scourging.
Saint Claudia, pray for us.
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