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Stigmata’s are spontaneous bleeding wounds which appear in various places on the body, such as the hands, the feet, the back, the forehead, and the side, and, in the Christian context, are considered to be manifestations of the suffering endured prior to, and during, Jesus’ Crucifixion.

Some stigmata have unusual shapes, such as a cross or a circle, and a few even glow in the dark. Many of them also produce a pleasant perfume-like odor. In a few rare cases they aren’t even visible, but are known to be present from the pain that they cause.

Healing is usually reported within a few hours after the wounds appear. Some people who suffer from stigmata report feelings of sadness, depression, weakness, and physical pain prior to the bleeding. The blood will pour forth from openings on the body for an unknown amount of time -then just as suddenly disappear and heal.

There have been hundreds of reports from those who claim to have had experienced wounds similar to those inflicted on Jesus. Within those cases there have been those who have fraudulently created the wound for various reason.

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.

After the death of St Francisi, more than 300 cases of stigmata were reported by the end of the 19th century and have increase to over 500 cases in the 20th century. There have been increasing numbers of ordinary people as opposed to the usual mystics or members of religious orders, who have begun to report stigmata. Cases have also been reported among non-Catholic Christians

Famous Stigmatics

  • Blessed Lucia Brocadelli of Narni
  • Angelik Caruana
  • Saint Catherine of Ricci
  • Saint Catherine of Siena
  • Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich
  • Saint Francis of Assisi
  • Saint Gemma Galgani
  • Saint Veronica Giuliani
  • Saint John of God
  • Saint Faustina Kowalska
  • Saint Marie of the Incarnation
  • Therese Neumann
  • Saint Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio)
  • Saint Rita of Cascia
  • Zlatko Sudac


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