This subject has been placed for educational purposes only.
Image: St. Francis receives the Stigmata; fresco in the Rose Chapel of the Basilica Santa Maria degli Angeli, Assisi, Italy.
What is Stigmata?
Stigmata are bodily marks, sores,or sensations of pain in locations corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus.
The term originates from the line at the end of Saint Paul's Letter to the Galatians where he says, "I bear on my body the
marks of Jesus," with "marks" in the Latin Vulgate rendered as "stigmata."
An individual bearing stigmata is referred to as a stigmatic.
The causes of stigmata are the subject of considerable debate. Some contend that they are miraculous, while others argue
they are hoaxes or can be explained medically.
Stigmata is primarily associated with the Roman Catholic faith. Many reported stigmatics are members of Catholic religious
orders. The majority of reported stigmatics are female.
Reported cases of stigmata take various forms. Many show some or all of the five Holy Wounds that were, according to the
Bible, inflicted on Jesus during his crucifixion: wounds in the hands and feet, from nails, and in the side, from a lance.
Some stigmatics display wounds to the forehead similar to those caused by the crown of thorns. Other reported forms
include tears of blood or sweating blood, wounds to the back as from scourging, or wounds to the shoulder as from bearing
The first well-documented case, and the first to be accepted by Church authorities as authentic, was that of Saint Francis
of Assisi (1182–1226), who first experienced stigmata in La Verna, Italy, in 1224. Source: Wikipedia
St. Francis of Assisi, in 1224, saw a shining seraph, between whose glowing wings hung the crucified Christ, approach him
from heaven. The agony of rapture left him with the sense that upon his own hands and feet were the mark of the nails.
These were seen by many, including Pope Alexander IV. It is said that St. Catherine of Siena underwent a somewhat similar
experience. St. Veronica Giuliani received the stigmata of the crown of thorns, and afterwards those of the nails, about 1694.
Anna Emmerich ( 1774 - 1824), at Dulmen in Westphalia, Maria von Morl ( 1839), Louise Lateau ( 1866), Mrs. Girling
'mother' of the English shakers ( 1864), and many others are said to have received the stigmata.
Some Things You May Not Know about Padre Pio
Well he is obviously a catholic priest, but no ordinary priest.
Among Catholics Padre Pio is one of the twentieth century’s most revered figures. Testament to this being that a million
people visit his tomb every year. You may well ask why do they do this. I believe it’s because of his extraordinary Christian
faith and devotion, but also from the many supernatural gifts with which he was blessed. Most famous of course being the
only priest to date that had the stigmata wounds of Christ.
Padre Pio was born in southern Italy in 1887, he joined the Capuchin friars in 1903, becoming a priest in 1910 and receiving
the stigmata in a dramatic episode in 1918. He stayed at his mountainside friary at San Giovanni Rotondo his entire life.
From a visit by the young Karol Wojtyla Padre Pio predicted that he would be pope. One lady friend of the now bishop
Wojtyla was cured of cancer by the fervent prayers of Padre Pio. IE she was miraculously healed.
When Padre Pio died in 1968 he was receiving 5,000 letters per week. At his mass the attendance was always to the full.
Their have been many miracles associated with him.
Padre Pio was a generous dispenser of divine mercy, making himself available to all by welcoming them, by spiritual direction
and, especially, by the administration of the sacrament of Penance. I also had the privilege, during my young years, of
benefiting from his availability for penitents. The ministry of the confessional, which is one of the distinctive traits of his
apostolate, attracted great crowds of the faithful to the monastery of San Giovanni Rotondo. Even when that unusual
confessor treated pilgrims with apparent severity, the latter, becoming conscious of the gravity of sins and sincerely
repentant, almost always came back for the peaceful embrace of sacramental forgiveness.
Pope John Paul II canonized Padre Pio of Pietrelcina a Saint on June 16, 2002 in one of the largest attended liturgies ever
in the Vatican's history. The Pope remarked that Padre Pio's spirituality and suffering are a valuable model for modern times.
The Pope reemphasized his message at the end of the canonization liturgy by announcing Padre Pio's feast day, September
23rd, is an "obligatory memorial" in the church's general liturgical calendar.
The ranking of obligatory memorial accorded to Padre Pio means the celebration must be observed in Masses and the
Liturgy of the Hours on the day it occurs unless an observance that takes precedence - a solemnity or feast - falls on the
same day. St. Maximillian Kolbe, also in the Franciscan tradition, is the only other 20th century saint whose memorial is
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