Friday, October 22, 2010


Stigmata are bodily marks, sores, or sensations of pain in locations corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus, such as the hands and feet.


I remember watching the program "Is It Real:Stigmata" on National Geographic Channel while I was having my vacation in Pangkor Island two years back. It was something so new to me back then I felt an instant disgust at Catholicism. Call me stereotype =P
Stigmata are bodily marks or wounds occurring on the body of some devout christians, in areas corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus, such as the hands and feet. Sometimes it could occur on the forehead. It often-but-not-necessarily portrays the shape of the cross. When I was in Italy, outside the wall of the Vatican City, I saw a nun with a cross-shaped wound on her forehead, and I was pretty sure that was stigmata.
Some stigmatics claim to feel the pain of wounds with no external marks; these are referred to as invisible stigmata. In other claims, 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, known as the Odour of Sanctity.

Stigmata could occur for no reason, and randomly. Some people obtain stigmata over prolonged prayer, some developed it after a visit to some holy places. It is perceived as a blessing, a sign of telepathic communication between the person and the gods. Those who receive stigmata are often adorn with adoration and praises, and canonization soon follows.
St. Francis of Assisi is the first recorded stigmatic in Christian history.

St. Francis. The stigmata clearly visible on his hands.
In 1224, he embarked on a journey to Mt. La Verna for a forty day fast. One morning near the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, a six winged angel allegedly appeared to Francis while he prayed. As the angel approached, Francis could see that the angel was crucified. He was humbled by the sight, and his heart was filled with elation joined by pain and suffering. When the angel departed, Francis was purportedly left with wounds in his hands, feet, and side as if caused by the same lance that pierced Christ’s side. The image of nails immediately appeared in his hands and feet, and the wound in his side often seeped blood.
St. Francis receiving stigmata.
As time passed, more and more people reported in as stigmatic, and the church got busy over the matter. Scientists were at first baffled, of course. But curiosity often leads to research and soon enough scientists started see stigmata as a form of self-inflicted wounds. This did not look good for the church so the followers were intoxicated with cases upon cases of stigmata worldwide--and taught to alter the fact when interviewed by researchers--to bring fantasy to life.

Modern research has postulated stigmata are of hysterical origin or linked to dissociative identity disorders, especially the link between dietary constriction by self-starvation, dissociative mental states and self-mutilation, in the context of a religious belief.

A psychoanalytic study of stigmatatic Thérèse Neumann has suggested that her stigmata resulted from post-traumatic stress symptoms expressed in unconscious self-mutilation through abnormal autosuggestibility.

Unconscious self-mutilation. Seriously.

Researchers found no evidence from a study of contemporary cases that the marks were supernatural in origin. Some stigmatics marked themselves in attempt to suffer with Christ as a form of piety, for example from the movie The Da Vinci's Code, the angry dude whips himself after every murder blablabla I forgot. Go watch the movie yourself--but my point is: what the dude does is what some christians do as an attempt to emulate the suffering of Christ.

Others marked themselves accidentally and their marks were noted as stigmata by witnesses. Often marks of human origin produced profound and genuine religious responses.

One of the most prominent stigmatics today is Julia Kim. She is a South Korean, and her case is so bizarre I think most of us would pass out. She received stigmata in 2004. In another case during one of the Holy Communion, she felt a transformation of the bread she was eating and she spit it out, and remarkably the bread turned into the shape of a hear, bloody red. This and many more, refer to her website. She doesn't have a wikipedia entry and I wish not to see anymore of this egregious.

The host turning into a heart-shaped thingy.
She made a fortune via her popularity. Devout pilgrims flood in from all parts of the world just to see her, let her pray for them, or simply to touch her robe (like the story in the bible, the blood-leaking woman touched the robe of Jesus and her wounds dried up instantly). She sold rosaries with her name encrypted on them, claiming that the power from the rosary would protect those who wear them.

Julia Kim suffered the pains of the Crown of Thorns.
Are we living in a generation where powerful people are everywhere? Never before in the history of mankind powerful and religiously-influential people are scattered all across the globe, at the same time. The Buddhist Master Sheng-yan Lu in America(he was born in Taiwan), Julia Kim in Korea, the Pope in Italy.. Whilst the bible recorded that powerful judges of Israel, influential prophets were far and few between, and normally only one for a particular generation. Why are we, then, having so many "judges" and "prophets" in the same generation?

Julia Kim is receives a medal from Pope John.
Seeing this from the Christian's point of view, we should be wary of antichrists mentioned in the bible. They will be coming in abundance, to cheat and to lie and to carry you away from the proper path. Darn I hate spelling out the bible, really.
In the meantime, seeing this from an agnostic's point of view makes me feel that the current generation is seriously lacking in love and self-confidence--they ought to consult all these religious people over their emotional problem. The ability of religion to make its followers execute unconscious self-mutilation is beyond my wildest comprehension. And the fact that religious sect find it easier and easier to create a cult for themselves highlights the inefficiency of our education system to educate the people of the danger sneaking behind all the nonsense.




    A link from from the Catholic Bishop's Conference, South Korea about Julia Kim in Naju

    The Most Rev. John Choi Young-soo, Archbishop of Daegu, issued an episcopal letter concerning "Julia Kim in Naju" on January 13, 2008, and stressed that Julia Kim's allegation of private revelation and all sorts of related cult have nothing to do with the Catholic Church. T

    1. Big deal then. Is it surprising as Jesus met with rejection by even those close to Him? There is a similar story unfolding here in India with a girl.It has been going on for at least two years now. She is illiterate. I am a witness for the last one year now. Folks it is in Facebook. You have to ask for friendship of Bro Daimalu Boro Narzary and join a group called Jyoti Prayer Ministry. Bro. Daimalu says he the ministry can not afford Website and besides he doesnot have people who would open webpage for him. someone opened FB account for him.

  2. Any stigmata that shows wounds or holes in the palms of the hands do not reflect actual wounds as per Roman crucifixions. A body hanging on a cross by nails through the palms would rip through the fingers by the weight. The nails were actually driven through the wrists - which in Hebrew are included in what we now call a hand. The nails were driven either immediately above, or immediately below, the radius and ulna bones of the forearm.

    1. Would that suggest that stigmatists model their wounds incorrectly on the images of Christ's wounds as (mis)represented in art?

  3. Julia Kim was in Watican in 2010 and more catholic Bishops believe in her visions. Her appirations are true and also Padre Pio was differents with cler



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