My Light Stigmata: The Possibility of a Modern Mystical Life (2023)

Congratulations to Spencer Clark French, whose essay "My Mild Stigmata" by Christian Wiman was shortlisted for the 2021 Frederick Buechner Prize. Learn more about the Frederick Buechner Prizehere.

stigmas(SingularStigma) in Christian mysticism physical marks, scars or pains corresponding to those of Jesus Christ crucified... A stigmatized person may have one or more of these marks of wounds, temporarily or permanently... the presence of stigmata is a sign of mystical union with the passion of Christ."

— Enzyklopädie Britannica

Just a piece of skin. Just a little callus. Just a weird wart buried in the palm of my hand.

At a time when God's absence was more apparent than ever, I got a splinter in my right hand—from the handle of a shovel, if I remember correctly—that was too deep for pliers. I decided to let my body heal over time. After a week, the surrounding flesh had toughened up; after two, the swelling and pain subsided; after a month it was introduced into the geography of my hand. But at the same time, I reassessed and was impressed: it occupied the center of my palm, theexactlyCenter. I tried to pick it up without success, so I closed my hand for fear that people would see me and ask me. In my less alert moments, I kept rubbing the wart with my ring finger, half pseudo-religious practice and half nervous tic.

After three months I revealed it to my spiritual leader (a title that always seemed like an exaggeration to me). He looked at me, then at my hand, then back at me, smiling.


Of course, I did not have the arrogance to claim a stigma. The most reasonable explanation was that he had a strange growth on his hand, a fact that would qualify me for a dermatologist, but little else. And still the numbness remained, and still my confusion about it. Questions plagued me, namely: given all our secular concerns, all our scientific developments, all the well-documented abuses of religious people and institutions, what does a modern (non-delusional) person have to do with such experiences? the concept of the mystical?


It didn't help that the word "mysticism" is a peach pit in the teeth of modern discourse. It works reasonably well when it comes to historical (read: long dead) figures like Rumi or Teresa de Ávila, but once you start to relate to the contemporary world things take a fantastic turn: the word evokes LSD, which uses crystals and talk in the trees. - gurus or esoteric ceremonies with velvet fabrics and surely at some point pig's blood. As with the term "martyr," there is a bit of embarrassment when "mystic" is used to describe an experience, especially among those who consider themselves intellectuals. Instant frown, instant disbelief. And yet, one cannot help but feel beneath these reactions a sincere longing for something more than new formulations of traditional doubts: the suspicions of those who desperately want to prove them wrong. Not surprisingly, the most popular quote from academic theologian Karl Rahner is not about the Trinity or soteriology, but about "The Christian of the future will be a mystic ordoes not exist" (the practice of faith).


But how would we speak of such a life? What words would we use? In every age, language, particularly religious language, must be rethought if it is to remain meaningful. Dietrich Bonhoeffer pointed this out when he wrote from a Nazi prison cell: "What constantly occupies me is the question of what Christianity really is for us today or who Christ really is" (Letters and prison papers🇧🇷 Our American context is filled with a longing for an accurate and beneficial spiritual language, a language that helps us talk about transcendent experiences while honoring the mystery within; a language that acknowledges the complicity of our words (and ourselves) in systems of oppression while paving the way for justice and peace; Language that negotiates both the vast silence and the occasional intrusion of God. What could such mysticism mean for us today?

UE.A catalog of strange events

There lived an evangelist, who was also my grandfather, a five-minute walk from my parents' house. Lean with a paunch, energetic and gregarious, his love for the Detroit Tigers was second only to Christ's conviction. In the 1970s he was a missionary in Brazil with his wife and two of his children; he loved Portuguese—Porrr-TOO-geyz.And of course it had stories, this was my favorite:

Due to his father's new assignment in the Navy, my ten-year-old grandfather, his siblings, and their few belongings were crammed into the family's old two-door DeSoto. Thus he began a long journey from Michigan to California. It was one of the coldest months, maybe December, and they had come as far as the Rocky Mountains. His father decided to face an unsafe and steep path despite the dusk and the snow, which only increased with altitude. They went up the hill hard and rutted, but the track was slippery, too slippery, and the car lost traction and spun into a snowbank on the ledge that was the only barrier between the road and the darkness beyond. The vehicle rocked. His father ordered all the children to get on the safe side of the car and, without losing his balance, he began to lead them out one by one through the driver's door. My grandfather was one of the first evacuees. They were miles from the nearest town. The blizzard was blinding. The road had no shoulder: if someone passed by, they would run over him; if not, icicles. And that assumes they all made it before the car fell into the abyss. The blizzard turned into a room without doors.

Four men walked shoulder to shoulder across the white wall. They were all the same height and wore matching leather vests. They went to the driver's side window. One of them said, "Sir, you need our help." They grabbed the back of the car and dragged it back onto the road, telling his father to back off. One of them pointed to the next town in the valley and said slowly, "You need tire chains to get over that mountain." They all went back to the car and said nothing, still in shock from the cold and the cliff. These four men walked ahead of them into the dark white of the headlights on a snowy night. When they walked down the street a few minutes later, the men were gone.

My grandfather said nothing about it for years until one random day, shy from waiting so long, he turned to his mother and asked, "Mom, come up the mountain."These menthey were…” She cut her off. 'They were not men

I completely believed him. In fact, my young mind added leather vests: from then on all angels wore spurs and wide-brimmed Stetsons. And I thought they could be anywhere.


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But life was more loneliness thandeus ex machina, more commonly the peaceful sky than the four cowboys.

When I left my hometown of Podunk to study ministry, I was endowed with a certain logic of simple faith: If you draw close to God, God will draw close to you. After all, Jesus wants to have a personal relationship with everyone. He followed a clear conclusion: if God isnoNah, that's certainly why.ellathey are not close to God. As I was preparing to be a pastor, every attempt to deepen my faith cast a shadow. I started taking antidepressants. I read voraciously, hoping to find the cause of my pain, or at least stop thinking about it. My father once suggested that depression is actually caused by all the books I read. There are crazier suggestions.


The poets helped more:

There is no worse, there is none. Pull beyond the tone of sadness,
More pain will come, trained for the pain before, wilder turns.
Dildo, where, where is your dildo?

There is nothing worse, there is none...,Gerard M.Hopkins

Your children, laden with
Disbelief, blinded by a patina
the wisdom,
Carambola is worth it
fear. we cry for you
although we lost
Your name.

the Savior, Maya Angelou


After three years of graduate study in Christian ministry, the prospect of faith was crumbling. I took the bitter titleagnostic🇧🇷 I told those closest to me that I could no longer bear the burden of faith.

But this fledgling agnosticism did not last, or at least did not run unchecked: there were odd, sporadic moments: a shooting star darting out of the night in answer to the plea.Show yourself!, the long eye contact of a sparrow, my name on street signs in the midst of a long struggle with the sky. Of course, that could be rationalized (coincidence, lack of birdseed, or confirmation bias), but my denials couldn't calm the internal confusion. They seemed more excuses than explanations. I blamed my grandfather for my fidelity to the highest possible interpretation.

But the void remained. He was caught between the darkness in which he lived and the few moments of light that passed through it, which in most cases only made the darkness darker. I was a semi-psychotropic devotee, arguing with the ether and occasionally chatting with the birds. IT ISstunneda religious category?


The sessions continued:

The day before the Yale Divinity School application results were released, I went for a run to calm my nerves. It was March in South Bend, Indiana, and it was not hot. When I was done, I crouched down in front of my building to stretch. A couple I hadn't seen before or since stopped by with their pet bulldog. My eyes lit up, but I was wary of the rushed spiritualization. At that very moment, the bulldog turned and looked me square in the eye. They admitted me the next day. Speaking of which, the rural town I grew up in? His name is Yale, Michigan. I have attended Yale Public Schools my entire life. The colors are navy blue and white; Our mascot is a bulldog.

While I was working at a church, in the middle of the dark half-decade of my soul, a man struggling with homelessness limped up to me, told me his knee hurt terribly, and asked me to heal it. I tried to stop one of the more spiritually gifted staff members, but they were all busy and the service was about to start. Trembling, I put my hand on his knee, not wanting to violate decency, said the most common and qualifying sentence of my life, and then hurried away to hide my embarrassment. When the service ended, I tried to sneak out the back door unnoticed, but he found me and jumped out, tears streaming down his face. "It's better, yes! Everything is better! Yes, thank you! Thank you, Jesus!" I still see it sometimes. He doesn't limp.

II A faith made of fragments

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel is rarely absent from conversations about faith, silence, and mysticism. Here it is clearer:

“There are moments in everyone's [human] life when the veil of the known is lifted and a vision of the eternal is opened... But such experiences or inspirations are rare. For some people they are like shooting stars, fleeting and forgotten. In others, they turn on a light that never goes out. The memory of that experience and the fidelity to respond at that moment are the forces that sustain our belief. In this sense,faith is loyaltyfidelity to an event, fidelity to our reaction.”

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"Man Is Not Alone"

Heschel's concept of belief is dynamic: it retains the traditional content while abandoning any expectation of regular access to God; he preserves the idea of ​​God at work in the world while leaving room for the felt absence of God. But I find this quote very helpful, as he quietly describes the mechanics of the mystical experience. Heschel distinguishes between a developereventis oursanswersTherefore. In every encounter with transcendence there is something outside of our control (eg, man with knee pain, bulldog) and something within us that responds (eg, admiration, recognition of a coincidence beyond chance). .


On the rare occasions that a modern person risks some mystical significance in an encounter, there is a tendency to become obsessed with the abnormality ofevents🇧🇷 Remember the careful grammar of the sentence: "The strangest thing happenedThe whatToday." The events are outside of us and therefore – following the subtle logic – they are not affected by our subjective perceptions and desires. Because that's what subjectivity does: Mars.

Ironically, one of the clearest examples of this contemporary self-doubt comes from the 17th century.ºClergyman-poet of the century, John Donne. In his most famous ofHoly Sonnets, Donne laments his own stubbornness so much that he calls for an outside force, in this case, God, to come and violently save him from himself:

Take me with you, lock me up, for me
If you don't love me you'll never be free
Never punish unless you delight me.

Holy Sonnet X, John Donne

But any attempt to remove the subjective from an experience misses the mark. Unless you confuse a moment in mere facts and dates, events are not objective. And even if you decide to reduce them to mere dates, what is there left to say about a random star or conspicuous insensitive beyond trivialization: "What strange?" The fact of an event does not help make it significant. We do not have a testable scientific metastructure to determine whether an event was accidental or from the afterlife. How many transcendent moments are buried in the cemetery of chance?


This is a parallel to a greater truth: there is enough evidence in this world that you are either a red-eyed believer or a bitter atheist. In a very real sense, agnosticism is the only rational religious attitude, but "rational" gives up everything in this case, assuming that the only way you can have a reasonable religious belief is to realize that you can't. In the end, the evidence was never the problem;interpretationmakes apostles or apostates.


(Whatever I cowardly called it, I still consider myself a three-day-a-week agnostic. It's like an existential part-time job, but with no benefits and very low pay.)


On the path of faith, ouranswersExtraordinary moments are more important than the events that generated them: reactions imply action, and we can choose aspects of our reactions. But then there's that annoying length problem. It would be a gross exaggeration to say that we have absolute sovereignty over our reactions. Imagine your favorite food: youselectWhat? I suppose that, in most cases, your appreciation of a dish has little to do with your conscious desires, and almost everything to do with the desires of some invisible aspect of yourself. What's going onacquiredPleasures? That is exactly my point: the existence of acquired tastes proves that we have some agency with these subterranean parts of ourselves, but the fact that the adjective "acquired" should modify the more common noun "taste" proves that the conscious cultivation of own taste is not the rule.

Think of all the other areas this mechanism applies to: do you choose to be struck by a piece of art? How many of your tears will be chosen? Of course, one can gain a deeper love for a painting through study; Yes, people can be socially conditioned to hide emotional responses, even from themselves; but at the end of it all, there is another energy that moves in and through these rare moments, beyond the limits of our will. If there's any evidence of God's specific action in our lives, I bet it's there. The Gospel of Mark argues that this duality applies not only to food and art, but also to faith: “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24, NIV). Or consider an excerpt from Scott Cairns's poem in defense of heretics:

Do we always make the decisions? about what
universal vision of absolute clarity
can someone continue? Let me know if you have.

Aventura no N.T. Gregor: Hairesis


I have spent many sentences emphasizing transcendent moments and our strange passivity towards them, but here I must return to Heschel so as not to sketch out a belief only for those who converse with small mammals and regularly levitate. When Heschel speaks of moments from the Afterlife, he does not describe them as routine, "[T]he events happen, intermittently, occasionally. The term 'continuous revelation' is as logical as the term 'a round square'" (moral greatness and spiritual boldness).

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Given the randomness of mystical events and the fact that we cannot regulate a significant part of our response, it is important to examine what we can control. How would someone who claims to have lived a life open to mysticism act?


Simone Weil, mystic, philosopher, social activist, and eccentric species of existential bird, offers a helpful exploration of one answer: attention. In a short essay on, among other things, the study of schoolchildren, Weil argues that the ultimate motive for schooling should not be the acquisition of knowledge, but "[the increase in] the power of attention that will be available at that time." through prayer." .” ”(wait for god🇧🇷 She believes that the center of faithful life is total attention to God. She treats it as a rudimentary spiritual ability, like breathing in basketball, rarely the focus, but unthinkable without it.

To live a life open to the mystical, we must train our eyes to look for "glimpses of grace" (O'Connor,mystery and good manners🇧🇷 We must prepare our imagination for the mysterious and take care of the safety of skepticism. If there are mystical encounters that I believe exist, then humans aren't the only creators of them and therefore can't easily manifest them. (A counterexample: desperately trying to salvage a shaky relationship, I gained confidence by looking for my then-partner's initials on license plates—no doubt these were mystical messages from the Lord. I wasn't feeling well.) Attention requires openness and then patience.


From the same article by Weil:

“One [Inuit] story explains the origin of light thus: 'In perpetual darkness, the raven, unable to find food, longed for light, and the earth was illuminated.' light is really desired, the desire for light creates it. There is a true desire when one strives for attention... Although our efforts for attention may seem fruitless for years, one day a light in proportion to them will flood the soul.

While this quote approximates a stereotypical, faithful life's work-focused shadow, I share it for what it illuminates: while attention is passive toward the object to which it is devoted, it is also an active attitude in the world. Canselectwhat we focus on or what we avoid. We can choose to be distracted, and our world happily encourages and encourages that self-deviation, commodifying our gaze to sell to the highest bidder in high-tech capitalism. In this cultural situation, a great “attention effort” must be made. A life open to the possibility of a mystical encounter must also keep its eyes open to the few times that exist. Furthermore, Weil's conception refuses to hold people unilaterally responsible for not having experienced God. He thinks that the spiritually aware life requires long periods of little fruit, freeing us from guilt if the mystical encounter is not followed by prolonged attention. Instead, our focus quietly increases our capacity for God or whatever, even if we don't recognize it at first. But one day the numinous will break through with a flash of realization, like Jacob: “Surely the Lord is in this place; and I did not know” (Genesis 28:16).


To be open to the mystical, you have to pay attention to your life, and I don't mean indiscriminately imposing the importance of every bruise and traffic cone. You must choose to listen to what he says, inside and out, and be patient when there is silence. And you need to find antidotes to the distraction of our marketing-centric culture. One of those antidotes is poetry: writing and reading. Poetry forces us to listen with keen ears, to look with searching eyes, which is why poetry is a constant avenue of spiritual clarity in the world.


Poet Lucille Clifton masterfully captures open attention in her poemwhen I am among the poets🇧🇷 After lamenting the overwhelming whiteness, masculinity, and most importantly, the certainty of the literary establishment, she goes wild:

I do not know how to do it
what do i do on the way
that i do this Happens
despite me and I pretend

to win it

But I do not know how to do it.
only sometimes when
something sings
and until now

I'm listening.


In his brief and brilliant essay, Heschel helps to locate a second arena in which mystical life unfolds: memory.The moment in Sinai, Heschel argues that the Bible is a book of events, not just ideas. He continues: “The root of the Jewish faith, therefore, is not an understanding of abstract principles, but an inner one.related to these events🇧🇷 believing is remembering, not just accepting the truth of a set of dogmas.” And these memories claim the one who remembers: "The event must be fulfilled, not just believed."

This is a stark picture of a faithful life that demands more than I have to offer, but as I was preparing to express the exaggeration of such a notion, a dove landed three feet away and stared at me for half a minute. stared. It felt like a rebuke from Heschel himself. I will have to put aside my doubts about Biblical historicity and organized religion.

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What I can say is this: I believe that spiritual events of the past, whether in the past week or the past millennium, can claim our present lives; they can change our view of the world if we let them.

This change in attitude comes in the dialectic of memory and interpretation: our past experiences inform our perception of the present, and our present life influences our interpretations of the past. One does not own the other. Think of memories that had fundamental significance in your life, say a childhood conversion, only to be excused as insanity under the test of age. Look at these moments as ordinary as the clouds - a brief chat, a look - that later counted among the most important moments of his life. This is a good reason to keep a journal. The first step in dealing intensely with spiritual memories is to actually remember.


We interpret and reinterpret events over and over again. But there is a temptation, at least in my own life, to choose a recent spiritual upset over an earlier divine encounter. This privilege of the present makes sense: how many months of God's silence must be endured before beginning to contemplate the nature of this being? If living faithfully is nothing more than holding on to a moment of past ecstasy while plunging into the spiritual abyss, then mystical moments become nothing more than the religious equivalent of a one-night stand, God doesn't care. . the back.


How can we stay true to a mystical event from the past without reducing our lives to a handful of moments? How can we let these moments consume us without avoiding our present experience? I have reached the limit of what I can answer. I believe that a person who is open to the mystical must remain faithful to the memories of her, that past moments of transcendence must claim their lives. But discerning what kinds of commitments, if any, these experiences may require must be done by individuals within their specific spiritual community.

For example during AngelthroughCowboys may not have survived the onslaught of my liberal theological upbringing, I still believe my grandfather's story, which means I believe there are times when good intervenes dramatically, which means I aim for endless examples that should open where it doesn't seem to. case and all the impossible questions that arise from it.


If I were to point out a third aspect of the mystical life, it would certainly be a good sense of humor:

Once, during a cheesy Christian meditation, I was asked to invite Jesus into "the living room of my imagination." Before the deflecting shields of cynicism could be deployed, the poet Ross Gay appeared. He sat across from me on a corduroy sofa. I offered him an imaginary cup of tea, which he graciously accepted.


Every time some idiot tries to identify himselfaCharacteristics of spiritual experience, something inside me bares its teeth like a cornered badger; Schemas rarely respect the mystery of what they are trying to define. Especially in spiritual matters, how someone describes something says as much as what he describes. In my very conservative undergraduate school, there was a formally trained New Testament scholar who regularly had to answer questions about how best to "apply" New Testament stories to real life. His response, which I heard on several upsetting occasions: "Asking the question 'How do I apply this narrative to my life?' is like asking 'How do I bake my grandmother?' I can give you an answer, but it will involve a lot of violence."

After enumerating two (and a half) characteristics of a mystical life that could be taken as signs of this rudeness, I must once again emphasize the mystery woven into both attention and memory: what her gaze on chance judged in the room. crowded. Who will your partner be? What evoked the memory of a past joy that attributed the lightness of that time to a current despair? What distinguishes the word on the page, the right word, the word that frees you from a present pain? Although these situations can be dismissed as psychological conjecture, I cannot succumb to these explanations: I love my grandmothers too much.


The only mystical life he could accept would be one that accommodates both the memory of a past divine encounter and the sharp impiety of the rest of life without diluting either. They must dance together.

To live a mystical life in our modern world, one must be open to the absurd possibility that everything out there loves us, all of us, and wants to interact with us, even "despite all the facts." (Wendell Berry). Even in the face of tremendous mistrust and learned self-loathing, you must accept that you have the potential for contact with the divine, even in the face of the present absence of God: "God wants us to know that we must live as [humans] live our lives without dominating him." "(Bonhoeffer again). To live a life of such beliefs would require an open awareness of the world around you and within you, as well as careful loyalty to the memory of the few wonderful experiences that come your way. Such an attitude would require a good dose of humor when wrong, which it often will be, and a community of people to learn from, grow from, and fight for in our strange world.Reclaiming such a life would surely attract the attention of academics and concerned denunciations of those only comfortable with a God speaking from the side let her be Claiming such a life makes you infinitely vulnerable in front of others so since you caught me on a faithful day I will go first:

My name is Spencer and I am stigmatized.

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Spencer Clark French is a poet and essayist from the Midwest. He received his M.A.R. in Religion and Literature from Yale Divinity School and will receive his Ph.D. on the same topic at the University of Notre Dame in the fall. He currently resides in South Bend, Indiana. You can reach him via his email address


What does it mean to experience stigmata? ›

Stigmata represents a very real connection with the sufferings of Christ. Those who experience stigmata are those who have most fervently wanted it. They want to experience the sufferings of Christ so that they may associate with him and so that their sufferings will benefit others.

What does stigmata feel like? ›

Some stigmatics claim to feel the pain of wounds with no external marks; these are referred to as "invisible stigmata". Some stigmatics' wounds do not appear to clot, and seem to stay fresh and uninfected.

What is stigmata philia? ›

Noun. stigmatophilia (uncountable) A paraphilia involving sexual arousal from body modifications such as piercings and tattoos.

Who receives stigmata? ›

Stigmata are mystical phenomena where holy men or women (mainly women, including Catherine of Siena) receive some or all of the bodily wounds of Christ's crucifixion. This tradition is a sign of closeness with God through sharing in Christ's suffering.

What are the different types of stigmata? ›

Literature identifies multiple dimensions or types of mental health-related stigma, including self-stigma, public stigma, professional stigma, and institutional stigma. Self-stigma refers to negative attitudes of an individual to his/her own mental illness and is also referred to as internalized stigma [1, 6].

Are there any stigmatics alive today? ›

There have been about 400 stigmatics since then, and about 25 remain bleeding today. Most are women and virtually all are Catholic. Wounds appear most commonly on the hands and feet, but also on the sides of the body - where Jesus was speared while on the cross - and on the forehead, representing the crown of thorns.

What is a stigmatic person? ›

noun. stig·​mat·​ic stig-ˈma-tik. plural stigmatics. : a person marked with stigmata : a person with bodily marks or pains resembling the wounds of the crucified Jesus. The monk, a "Friar G.," is a stigmatic (who bleeds with the wounds of Jesus) with a cult following in Italy.

Is stigmata a real word? ›

When the plural form stigmata is used, the context is frequently religious: stigmata typically refers to bodily marks or pains resembling the wounds of the crucified Jesus and sometimes accompanying religious ecstasy.

What is the mark of God in the Bible? ›

Described in greater detail, "The seal given in the forehead is God, New Jerusalem. will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, (Rev 3:2)" (Manuscript Releases 15:225). This seal is to be given to those only who make the necessary preparation.

Do Christians believe in stigmata? ›

According to the Roman Catholic Church, the presence of stigmata is a sign of mystical union with the suffering of Christ, and a genuine stigmatic must have lived a life of heroic virtue. The first example of the alleged miraculous infliction of stigmata occurred in St. Francis of Assisi.

How do you get rid of stigmata? ›

Seven Things You Can Do to Reduce Stigma
  1. Know the facts. Educate yourself about mental illness including substance use disorders.
  2. Be aware of your attitudes and behaviour. ...
  3. Choose your words carefully. ...
  4. Educate others. ...
  5. Focus on the positive. ...
  6. Support people. ...
  7. Include everyone.

Is there a medical explanation for stigmata? ›

If stigmata is real, there is no medical or scientific explanation for it. Wounds do not suddenly and spontaneously appear on people's bodies for no reason; some specific instrument (such as a knife, tooth, or bullet) can always be identified as causing the trauma.

Does stigma cause mental illness? ›

Stigma and discrimination can also make someone's mental health problems worse and delay or stop them from getting help. Social isolation, poor housing, unemployment and poverty are all linked to mental ill health. So stigma and discrimination can trap people in a cycle of illness.

Is stigma a shame? ›

Shame can be thought of as the impact or emotion that comes from stigma, like feelings of embarrassment, self-hate, sense of failure, feeling hopeless. This can also sometimes be called self-stigma.

How many people have the stigmata? ›

Before Padre Pio, no priest had received the stigmata; since then, a number have. Cases appear in clusters: a single case occurred in the Iberian peninsula between the 13th and 15th centuries, but 54 were recorded between 1600 and 1799—and there have been only seven since.

What does stigma mean in simple terms? ›

1. [singular] : a set of negative and often unfair beliefs that a society or group of people have about something. the stigma associated with mental illness = the stigma of mental illness. the stigma of being poor = the stigma of poverty. There's a social stigma attached to receiving welfare.

What was Jesus first word mark? ›

According to general scholarship, the first recorded words of Jesus are actually in Mark 1:15 (as it was considered the first Gospel that was written): "This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. So repent (mετανοείτε), and believe in the gospel."

What does a blood cross on forehead mean? ›

By having their foreheads marked with the sign of the cross, this symbolizes that the person belongs to Jesus Christ, who died on a Cross. This is the imitation of the spiritual mark or seal that is put on a Christian in baptism, when he is delivered from sin.

Does Mark say Jesus is the Son of God? ›

The Gospel of Mark begins by calling Jesus the Son of God and reaffirms the title twice when a voice from Heaven calls Jesus: "my Son" in Mark 1:11 and Mark 9:7.

What are the characteristics of stigmata? ›

stigmata, singular stigma, in Christian mysticism, bodily marks, scars, or pains corresponding to those of the crucified Jesus Christ—that is, on the hands, on the feet, near the heart, and sometimes on the head (from the crown of thorns) or shoulders and back (from carrying the cross and scourging).

Is there a medical reason for stigmata? ›

If stigmata is real, there is no medical or scientific explanation for it. Wounds do not suddenly and spontaneously appear on people's bodies for no reason; some specific instrument (such as a knife, tooth, or bullet) can always be identified as causing the trauma.

Is stigmata natural? ›

Stigmatas are either natural or artificial which provides the eligible person with resistance against Houkai energy, which allows them to fight zombies and Houkai beasts without getting infected by the source.

Has there ever been a stigmata case? ›

Until the twentieth century, reports of stigmata were confined to Catholic Europe, but the most recent count of contemporary cases, made about a decade ago, included about 25 cases scattered around the world, including one in Korea and one in Japan.

How does stigma affect mental health? ›

Stigma and discrimination can also make someone's mental health problems worse and delay or stop them from getting help. Social isolation, poor housing, unemployment and poverty are all linked to mental ill health. So stigma and discrimination can trap people in a cycle of illness.

What are examples of stigma? ›

When someone with a mental illness is called 'dangerous', 'crazy' or 'incompetent' rather than unwell, it is an example of a stigma. It's also stigma when a person with mental illness is mocked or called weak for seeking help. Stigma often involves inaccurate stereotypes.

Who had the first stigmata? ›

The earliest known stigmatic was St Francis of Assisi.


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Birthday: 1999-03-14

Address: 951 Caterina Walk, Schambergerside, CA 67667-0896

Phone: +6881806848632

Job: Internal Education Planner

Hobby: Candle making, Cabaret, Poi, Gambling, Rock climbing, Wood carving, Computer programming

Introduction: My name is Rueben Jacobs, I am a cooperative, beautiful, kind, comfortable, glamorous, open, magnificent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.