Remarkable longer lasting recoveries after confession were recounted, too. Gundulph, Bishop of Rochester from 1077, heard the confession of a dying woman. She experienced “heartfelt contrition”, and after “the wholesome remedy of penitence was applied… [she was] fully restored to health”.
Confession could even play a part in healing miracles. Odo de Beaumont, who contracted leprosy from a prostitute, was cured after he confessed his sin, fasted, and promised to go on pilgrimage to Thomas Becket’s tomb.
Stories like this suggest that medieval folk viewed the relationship between body and soul very differently to us: physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing were inseparable, and the health benefits of confession seemed to prove the power of God.