Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I just found out from Guy that I don't have stigmata, after all. What a relief!

"Stigmata are the wounds of Christ as reproduced in a human body. Visible stigmata are frequently located in both hands and both feet, and on the right side of the chest, replicating the sites of Christ's wounds, which he showed to the disciples in his post-resurrection appearances (Luke 24: 36-40 and John 20: 19-29). The most famous of the stigmatics, St Francis of Assisi, received the stigmata in these places. Occasionally wounds on the head, in the shape of a crown (copying the crown of thorns), and marks on either shoulder (representing the carrying of the cross and scourging) are evidence of stigmata too. Stigmata might also be invisible, marked by the pain of wounds in the classic places, or alternately invisible and visible. St Catherine of Sienna received the stigmata of the five wounds in a vision but asked God to make them disappear, after which she experienced only the pain of the wounds.

"Stigmata are often accompanied by other bodily phenomena such as pain, blood, sweats, levitations, or even lameness or blindness, and they quite often occur in people who are already ill or are voluntarily abstaining from food for religious reasons. Many of the women nuns and saints who fasted and/or existed on the host alone, in late medieval and early modern Europe, received the stigmata, such as St Catherine of Sienna, who fasted — except for eating the blessed host — for eight years. Stigmatics often receive religious visions or ecstasies, having visions of Christ and various saints, and also ‘re-living’ or seeing parts of Christ's passion and sharing in his suffering."
Painting on oak from Cologne, Germany, 1465, entitled "Christ on the Cross with Mary, John and Mary Magdalene." Artist unknown. Quotation from Wikipedia.

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