On the Meaning of “Without Spot or Wrinkle”

St. Gregory of Tours ca. 538-594

In the beginning the Lord shaped the heaven and the earth in His Christ, Who is the beginning of all things, that is, in His Son; and after creating the elements of the whole universe, taking a frail clod He formed man after His own image and likeness, and breathed upon his face the breath of life and he was made into a living soul. And while he slept a rib was taken from him and the woman, Eve, was created. There is no doubt that this first man Adam before he sinned typified the Redeemer. For as the Redeemer slept in the stupor of suffering and caused water and blood to issue from His side, He brought into existence the virgin and unspotted Church, redeemed by blood, purified by water, having no spot or wrinkle, that is, washed with water to avoid a spot, stretched on the cross to avoid a wrinkle. (History of the Franks Bk. 1.1)


  1. I would love to get Fr. Seraphim Rose’s translation of St. Gregory of Tours’ Vita (I think that was the Frankish saint he translated from Latin, but I could be wrong).

  2. You’re correct. I just received my copy. He wrote a long introduction on the importance of Lives of the Saints and Orthodox Gaul which makes the book even more priceless. That book inspired this post. I’ll be posting the gems I find, God willing.

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