Schlatter, Francis (1855–1895)
Mystic and miracle worker of the nineteenth century. Born
in Alsace in 1855, he emigrated to the United States and traveled
the country with head and feet bare, preaching the love of
God and peace amongst men. When imprisoned as a vagrant,
he continued to preach in jail. He had a gift of healing and
cured many sick individuals merely by placing his hand on
their heads. He appeared in San Francisco, California, in 1894,
traveled through Mexico, and crossed the Mohave Desert. He
spent several weeks at Flagstaff, then wandered among the Indian
tribes, staying with the chief of the Navajos five days and
performing many miracles.
Thousands came to see him in Denver, Colorado, where he
once identified a secret murderer. He reputedly healed blindness,
deafness, diphtheria, cancer, and other diseases with a
touch of the hand, and also cured a number of handicapped
people. He claimed that faith was the cause of his cures, and
that even touching was unnecessary. He would sometimes sensitize
a piece of material or a handkerchief with healing force.
He treated from three to five thousand people a day by standing
with outstretched hands blessing them.
Eventually he undertook a forty-day fast, during which he
continued to heal the sick. In November 1895 he disappeared
from Denver without warning. He left a note at the house of Alderman
Fox, where he was a guest, stating ‘‘Mr. Fox—my mission
is ended, and the Father calls me. I salute you. Francis
Schlatter, November 13th.’’ He was never heard from again.