20 March 2008

Stigmata: Miraculous or a Hoax?

Save to Google Bookmarks!Today is Holy Thursday. I visited Greenbelt church a while ago and I was not aware that the whole mall was closed. So I went home after the mass and passed by some prayer station in our street. People are very busy saying their novena or prayers and some are singing. I remember when I was in Davao, during Holy week I always watch shows in television that features stories about Stigmata. I do not know but I find it so interesting even there was no recorded evidence that it is true. Only people who had “experience” having crucifixion wounds of Jesus relay their stories to us. What are STIGMATA, really? According to Wikipedia, 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," stigmata is the plural of the Greek word stigma meaning a mark or brand such as might have been used for identification of an animal or slave. An individual bearing stigmata is referred to as a stigmatic. Some stigmatics feel the pain of wounds with no external marks; these are referred to as invisible stigmata. In other cases, stigmata are accompanied by extreme pain. Some stigmatics' wounds do not appear to clot, and stay fresh and uninfected; the blood from the wounds is said, in some cases, to have a pleasant, perfumed odor. Similarly self-inflicted wounds can be associated with certain mental illnesses. Some people who fake stigmata suffer from Munchausen syndrome which is characterized by an intense desire for attention. People with Munchausen hurt themselves or fake an illness hoping to end up in a hospital where they can be given attention and care. Miraculous or prank, medically explainable may be, stigma is part of the Roman Catholic faith. After St. Francis of Assisi’s stigmata was accepted by the Church authorities as authenticated, there are many who reported incident of having these wounds.

Until now, there are many who are skeptics because as mentioned, there were no documented cases of the actual occurrence of sustaining Stigmata but only reported cases and evidences of the wounds after it was incurred.


Angel in the Sickroom said...

very interesting post!

But again to see is to believe right? It would be great if we actually see the stigmatics actually bleed on their own, it would surely strengthen people's faith. But again, you don't need to see God's miracles... you only feel His presence...

Have a good day!

Anonymous said...

very well said vincent! your right!

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