5-4-00 - We watched the movie 'STIGMATA' on television recently. To begin with the violence is shocking. The movie should never be watched by children. Even to an adult, the violence could cause disturbing nightmares. I would never recommend this movie for sensitive people.

However, that said, this movie is a good case study for the case of stigmata, about the way the Catholic Church and it's priestly members manipulate the truth and thereby the people who lay their faith the the church's hands.

The movie Stigmata is about an atheist hairdresser who suddenly experiences Christ-like bleeding wounds, after her mother gives her a gift of an antique rosary. Terrible things happen to her which she canít understand. Doctors can't help and at the moment of one of her horrifying episodes, a chance encounter with a local priest is caught on tape. A Vatican Priest Gabriel Byrne investigates the case against his better judgement.

The Plot

Stigmata opens in a church in Brazil where Father Andrew is investigating a bleeding statue for the Vatican. It started when the parish priest, Father Alameida, dies. Father Andrew is an investigator of miracles for the Vatican. He is convinced that a miracle has taken place, but when he reports back to Cardinal Houseman, he is told that no such church or priest exists. Father Andrew is also a scientist turned priest, who is in conflict with the church. A small boy steals the rosary from the dead body of Father Alameida and sells it to a tourist. This is where the plot thickens. The tourist is the mother of Frankie Paige an atheist hairdresser. Frankie receives the rosary in a package sent to her by her mother, after she touches the rosary strange things start to happen.

At first her wrists are pierced and begin to bleed. The rest of the Stigmata appears in stages throughout the film. Father Andrew is given the task of investigating the phenomenon.  Stigmata is a well acted film. Does Jonathan Pryce ever play a good guy? The scenes are intense and keep you guessing about the reason that the Stigmata is appearing. Of course, there is concern that it is not a good but an evil possesion. The Vatican in the form of Cardinal Houseman is attempting to suppress all knowledge of what is happening. The reason for this only becomes clear near the end of the film. The secret we have been waiting for, in the end is an exciting portrayal of a long held secret of the church.

Despite what others say, who in my estimation are not spiritually awake, the film ending, revealing the church's secret was well worth the effort given to it through the film.

A Negative Review of the Movie Stigmata



Mystical Stigmata

To decide merely the facts without deciding whether or not they may be explained by supernatural causes, history tells us that many ecstatics bear on hands, feet, side, or brow the marks of the Passion of Christ with corresponding and intense sufferings. These are called visible stigmata. Others only have the sufferings, without any outward marks, and these phenomena are called invisible stigmata.

A reader disputes the following paragraphs of FACTS with an article written by a family who claims earlier stigmata than what is mentioned below:

William Ledger and Elizabeth May were married at St. Margarets, Westminster, London, on April 25th 1595. The first recorded spelling of the family name is possibly that of Adam Leger, which was dated 1279, in the Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire, during the reign of Edward I of England.

The English and Irish family can trace it origins back to Robertus de Villapari vel. de Sancto Leodegario (also known as Sir Robert de Saint Leger), a Norman knight who arrived as part of the Norman conquest of 1066. His son, Ralph De St. Leger fought at the Battle of Hastings. Sir Robert had stigmata[2].

Excerpted from:



Their existence is so well established historically that, as a general thing, they are no longer disputed by unbelievers, who now seek only to explain them naturally. Thus a free-thinking physician, Dr. Dumas, professor of religious psychology at the Sorbonne, clearly admits the facts (Revue des Deux Mondes, 1 May, 1907), as does also Dr. Pierre Janet (Bulletin de l'Institut psychologique international, Paris, July, 1901).

St. Catherine of Siena at first had visible stigmata but through humility she asked that they might be made invisible, and her prayer was heard. This was also the case with St. Catherine de' Ricci, a Florentine Dominican of the sixteenth century, and with several other stigmatics. The sufferings may be considered the essential part of visible stigmata; the substance of this grace consists of pity for Christ, participation in His sufferings, sorrows, and for the same end--the expiation of the sins unceasingly committed in the world. If the sufferings were absent, the wounds would be but an empty symbol, theatrical representation, conducing to pride. If the stigmata really come from God, it would be unworthy of His wisdom to participate in such futility, and to do so by a miracle.

But this trial is far from being the only one which the saints have to endure: "The life of stigmatics," says Dr. Imbert, "is but a long series of sorrows which arise from the Divine malady of the stigmata and end only in death: (op. cit. infra, II, x). It seems historically certain that ecstatics alone bear the stigmata; moreover, they have visions which correspond to their rôle of co-sufferers, beholding from time to time the blood-stained scenes of the Passion.

With many stigmatics these apparitions were periodical, e.g., St. Catherine de' Ricci, whose ecstasies of the Passion began when she was twenty (1542), and the Bull of her canonization states that for twelve years they recurred with minute regularity. The ecstasy lasted exactly twenty-eight hours, from Thursday noon till Friday afternoon at four o'clock, the only interruption being for the saint to receive Holy Communion. Catherine conversed aloud, as if enacting a drama. This drama was divided into about seventeen scenes. On coming out of the ecstasy the saint's limbs were covered with wounds produced by whips, cords etc.

Dr. Imbert has attempted to count the number of stigmatics, with the following results:

1. None are known prior to the thirteenth century. The first mentioned is St. Francis of Assisi, in whom the stigmata were of a character never seen subsequently; in the wounds of feet and hands were excrescences of flesh representing nails, those on one side having round back heads, those on the other having rather long points, which bent back and grasped the skin. The saint's humility could not prevent a great many of his brethren beholding with their own eyes the existence of these wonderful wounds during his lifetime as well as after his death. The fact is attested by a number of contemporary historians, and the feast of the Stigmata of St. Francis is kept on 17 September.

2. Dr. Imbert counts 321 stigmatics in whom there is every reason to believe in a Divine action. He believes that others would be found by consulting the libraries of Germany, Spain, and Italy. In this list there are 41 men.

3. There are 62 saints or blessed of both sexes of whom the best known were:

  • St. Francis of Assisi (1186-1226); After a rowdy and even dissipated youth, Francis's transformation to a more austere way of life came ab out only after much illness and witnessing the horrors of a civil war. He was never ordained as a priest but was the found of two friaries.

    His stigmata appeared only two years before his death at a time when he was praying outside a cave in the mountains.  In 1224 Saint Francis of Assisi had a vision of Christ. He formed a friare in the town of Maria degli Angeli near Assasi. While praying outside of a cave on his 40th day of retreat he received stigmata. Nails appeared in his wounds.  

    The stigmata were of a character never seen subsequently; in the wounds of feet and hands were excrescences of flesh representing nails, those on one side having round back heads, those on the other having rather long points, which bent back and grasped the skin. On his right side, as if it had been pierced by a lance, was overlaid with a scar, and often shed forth blood, so that his tunic and drawers were many times sprinkled with the sacred blood.

    The saint's humility could not prevent a great many of his brethren beholding with their own eyes the existence of these wonderful wounds during his lifetime as well as after his death. The fact is attested by a number of contemporary historians, and the feast of the Stigmata of St. Francis is kept on 17 September.
  • St. Lutgarde (1182-1246), a Cistercian;
  • St. Clare Offreduccio di Favarone (1193 - 1253)Assisi, Italy.
  • St. Margaret of Cortona (1247-97);
  • In 1275 a nun named Elizabeth said she was witnessing Christ's crucifiction. She developed stigmata on her forehead said to be caused by Christ's crown of thorns.
  • St. Gertrude (1256-1302), a Benedictine;
  • St. Clare of Montefalco (1268-1308), an Augustinian;
  • Bl. Angela of Foligno (d. 1309), Franciscan tertiary;
  • St. Catherine of Siena (1347-80), Dominican tertiary;
  • St. Lidwine (1380-1433);
  • St. Frances of Rome (1384-1440);
  • St. Colette (1380-1447), Franciscan;
  • Osanna Andreasi (1449 - 1505) Mantua, Italy
  • St. Rita of Cassia (1386-1456), Augustinian;
  • St. Eustochia Calafato - (1437-1491) Messina,
  • Bl. Osanna of Mantua (1499-1505), Dominican tertiary;
  • St. Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510), Franciscan tertiary;
  • Bl. Baptista Varani (1458-1524), Poor Clare;
  • Bl. Lucy of Narni (1476-1547), Dominican tertiary;
  • Bl. Catherine of Racconigi (1486-1547), Dominican;
  • St. John of God (1495-1550), founder of the Order of Charity;
  • St. Catherine de' Ricci (1522-89), Dominican; St. Catherine of Siena at first had visible stigmata but through humility she asked that they might be made invisible, and her prayer was heard. This was also the case with St. Catherine de' Ricci, a Florentine Dominican of the sixteenth century, and with several other stigmatics. The sufferings may be considered the essential part of visible stigmata; the substance of this grace consists of pity for Christ, participation in His sufferings, sorrows, and for the same end--the expiation of the sins unceasingly committed in the world. If the sufferings were absent, the wounds would be but an empty symbol, theatrical representation, conducing to pride. If the stigmata really come from God, it would be unworthy of His wisdom to participate in such futility, and to do so by a miracle. But this trial is far from being the only one which the saints have to endure: "The life of stigmatics," says Dr. Imbert, "is but a long series of sorrows which arise from the Divine malady of the stigmata and end only in death: (op. cit. infra, II, x). It seems historically certain that ecstatics alone bear the stigmata; moreover, they have visions which correspond to their rôle of co-sufferers, beholding from time to time the blood-stained scenes of the Passion. With many stigmatics these apparitions were periodical, e.g., St. Catherine de' Ricci, whose ecstasies of the Passion began when she was twenty (1542), and the Bull of her canonization states that for twelve years they recurred with minute regularity. The ecstasy lasted exactly twenty-eight hours, from Thursday noon till Friday afternoon at four o'clock, the only interruption being for the saint to receive Holy Communion. Catherine conversed aloud, as if enacting a drama. This drama was divided into about seventeen scenes. Oncoming out of the ecstasy the saint's limbs were covered with wounds produced by whips, cords etc.
  • St. Mary Magdalene de' Pazzi (1566-1607), Carmelite;
  • Bl. Marie de l'Incarnation (1566-1618), Carmelite;
  • Bl. Mary Anne of Jesus (1557-1620), Franciscan tertiary;
  • Bl. Carlo of Sezze (d. 1670), Franciscan;
  • Blessed Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-90), Visitandine (who had only the crown of thorns);
  • St. Veronica Giuliani (1600-1727), Capuchiness;
  • St. Mary Frances of the Five Wounds (1715-91), Franciscan tertiary.

4. There were 20 stigmatics in the nineteenth century. The most famous were:

  • Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824), Augustinian;
  • Elizabeth Canori Mora (1774-1825), Trinitarian tertiary;
  • Anna Maria Taïgi (1769-1837);
  • Maria Dominica Lazzari (1815-48);
  • Louise Lateau (1850-83), Franciscan tertiary. Louise spent her life in the village of Bois d'Haine, Belgium (1850-83). The graces she received were disputed even by some Catholics, who as a general thing relied on incomplete or erroneous information, as has been established by Canon Thiery ("Examen de ce qui concerne Bois d'Haine", Louvain, 1907). At sixteen she devoted herself to nursing the cholera victims of her parish, who were abandoned by most of the inhabitants. Within a month she nursed ten, buried them, and in more than one instance bore them to the cemetery. At eighteen she became an ecstatic and stigmatic, which did not prevent her supporting her family by working as a seamstress. Numerous physicians witnessed her painful Friday ecstasies and established the fact that for twelve years she took no nourishment save weekly communion. For drink she was satisfied with three or four glasses of water a week. She never slept, but passed her nights in contemplation and prayer, kneeling at the foot of her bed.
  • Marie de Moerl (1812-68) , Franciscan tertiary.

Marie de Moerl spent her life at Kaltern, Tyrol (1812-68). At the age of twenty she became an ecstatic, and ecstasy was her habitual condition for the remaining thirty-five years of her life. She emerged from it only at the command, sometimes only mental, of the Franciscan who was her director, and to attend to the affairs of her house, which sheltered a large family. Her ordinary attitude was kneeling on her bed with hands crossed on her breast, and an expression of countenance which deeply impressed spectators. At twenty-two she received the stigmata. On Thursday evening and Friday these stigmata shed very clear blood, drop by drop, becoming dry on the other days. Thousands of persons saw Marie de Moerl, among them Görres (who describes his visit in his "Mystik", II, xx), Wiseman, and Lord Shrewsbury, who wrote a defence of the ecstatic in his letters published by "The Morning Herald" and "The Tablet" (cf. Boré, op. cit. infra).

Maria Esperanza Medrano de Bianchini - Barrancas, Venezuela on November 22, 1928

Padre Pio : (1887 -  1968)

Padre Pio was born to Giuseppa and Grazio Forgione, peasant farmers, in the small Italian village of Pietrelcina on May 25, 1887. From his childhood, it was evident that he was a special child of God.  Padre Pio, a humble Capuchin priest from San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy, was blessed by God in many wonderful and mysterious ways. The most dramatic was the stigmata. Padre Pio bore the wounds of Christ for fifty years!

After praying on September 15, 1915, the Padre felt strange pains in his hands and found that he had gained five wounds of stigmata. For the rest of his life, the Padre was in pain from the wounds which would not heal. He seemed to gain healing powers and the ability to appear in multiple locations at once.

Among his other gifts were perfume, bilocation, prophecy, conversion, reading of souls, and miraculous cures. People are still being cured through his intercession in ways that cannot be explained by medicine or science.

More important, if less spectacular, are the spiritual healings that take place in all parts of the world! Padre Pio is a powerful intercessor!!

The Padre Pio Foundation of America
The Light of Padre Pio
May 3, 1999 - Pope Beatifies Padre Pio
The Stigmatizations of Padre Pio of Pietralcina and Saint Francis of Assisi Compared

Theresa Neumann

Theresa Neumann, born in 1898, was known to suffer from many illnesses during her childhood which seemed to cure themselves on certain religious days. A series of severe illnesses and accidents presaged the onset of her religious asceticism. These led to her being bedridden and blind and during this time she frequently suffered severe convulsions. Her disability continued for years until suddenly these afflictions were apparently miraculously cured, one by one, seemingly by the intercession of St. Therese of Lisieux, a French nun to whose example Neumann showed deep devotion.  As she grew older, wounds seemingly caused by a crown of thorns appeared on her brow and on each Friday, she would lose a pint of blood and nearly 8 pounds. By the following Sunday, though, Neumann would be cured.

Even more difficult to explain is another characteristic of some stigmata. The blood flowing from the wounds in her feet would, if she was lying face up on a bed, flow upwards towards her toes; that is, in a direction counter to gravity. This is, of course, the direction in which Christ's blood would have flowed from his foot wounds during the crucifixion. This was witnessed on many occasions and it must surely take more than auto-suggestion to flaunt the laws of physics.

In 1926 Theresa is alone in bed one night during the Christian season of Lent, deep in contemplation. A vision of Christ appears before her and stigmata wounds simultaneously appeared. She and her sister try to hide the wounds, but on Good Friday, at a family gathering, blood flows openly from her palms, feet, and side. Tears of blood begin falling from her eyes. Later, wounds from a crown of thorns develop. The stigmatas begin to glow and hardened skin forms itself into nails that penetrate the wounds on her hands and feet.

Her stigmata bled periodically and at such times she would usually have visions. On Fridays she would enter a trance and re-enact the entire Passion as though she was witnessing the event. At these times blood would flow from her hands, feet, shoulder, forehead, and eyes in such quantities that bandages were used to soak it up. These ecstasies became so common that the people of Konnersreuth would gather at her house on Fridays in the hopes of being admitted to see her in this state.

In 1927 she had a vision in which she was told that she would no longer need to rely on earthly food. From then on she neither ate nor drank anything, yet she did not lose weight, nor did she weaken but lived a normal healthy life. A commission was formed which tested this inedia of hers and kept her under constant surveillance affirmed that she took no food or water during a period of 14 days in 1927.

--Miracles, p.67 - D. Rogo, Dial Press

Teresa Higginson (1926). Lincolnshire, England, and attended a convent school at Nottingham. Her correspondence was collected by Cecil Kerr who used it to construct a biography

Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa (1973) Akita, Japan

Maria Al Acaris - 1980

Since the early 1980's Maria Al Acaris from Syria spontaneously begins to bleed from all over her body. It happens on Good Friday and lasts for hours. She develops scratches on her forehead. Then as if  by another miracle the wounds spontaneous heal in a few hours.

Giorgio Bongiavanni - 1989

Giorgio Bongiavanni is a man who experiences stigmata on his hands and forehead every day of his life.

Giorgio's wounds are legitimate. He lectures about the return of extraterrestrials to the planet - biblical prophecies linked to Revelation.

Giorgio Bongiovanni was born in Floridia (Syracuse) (Sicily) on September 5, 1963.

He was a little more than thirteen when he met the contactee Eugenio Siragusa who raised him with a culture and a knowledge coming from other worlds. He became then, in every respect, his spiritual father. In 1984 he got married and moved to Porto Sant'Elpidio, in the region Marche; he worked for a little firm which dealt with footwear accessories, of which he became the owner. A son was born of his marriage.

Giorgio is a UFO contactee. He talks of the many occasions when he has met and spoken to extraterrestrial beings. Most of these he describes as "beings of light" in that they quite evidently are beings from a higher spiritual plane. Other people have called these beings trancendentals or, more traditionally, angels. However, Giorgio says that he sees these figures as having a physical body - "very bright" - and he says it is quite possible to photograph them. They speak to him in words rather than telepathically.

Besides these beings of light, Giorgio says he has occasionally encountered humanoids who also come from stellar systems many light years from plant Earth. These are the 'grey's who loom large in the demonology of the UFO subject, though he denies that they are in any way demonic. They technology, he says, is about 100 years in advance of our own and they have their purpose in the universal scheme of things.

Giorgio's encounters with beings of light can be described as visions, since others who are with him are usually unable to see these divine presences. This is very similar to the frequent visions of ht bLessed Virgin Mary experienced by the children of Medjugorje or the young visionaries of Fatima.

On April 5, 1989 Giorgio Bongiovanni had the first of a series of contacts that would cause a radical change in his life. Upon coming out of work, next to his car, he perceived from afar, a woman figure who seemed to be waiting for him. On approaching, Giorgio noticed that that beautiful being was hovering above the ground.

The enchanting woman appeared luminescent; she was dressed in white and a blue belt girded her waist, a red rose crowned her breast. She talked with a sweet voice and said she was Myriam, the Mother of Jesus. She informed him that the time had come to bring to light the antichristic causes which are driving man towards annihilation.

At this first encounter some others followed in which the Virgin, among other things, told him some revelations as to his previous lives on Earth and said to have chosen him because he is not influenced.

On September 2, 1989, obeying to the call of the Madonna, Giorgio went to Fatima, in the big square of the Sanctuary, the site where the Virgin promised to give him a very important sign, for him and for all the mankind. It was a little past midday when, under the same oak tree of 1917 apparitions in Cova da Iria, Giorgio fell into ecstasy and, hovering next to a big branch, he saw the same Divine Lady. The celestial being greeted him and said: "I am happy that you have come... I was waiting for you" revealing to him the mission he had been called for: to spread the contents of the Third Message of Fatima which, with Her great regret and sorrow the Catholic Church hadn't yet officially revealed to all mankind.

In the end She asked him if he was willing to carry upon himself part of the suffering of Her Son Jesus. When Giorgio agreed, two beams of light came out of the Virgin's chest and struck the palm's of Giorgio's hands stigmatizing him. After that the splendid woman disappeared absorbed by the globe of light that until then had been hovering behind Her. During the journey back home the little holes on the palms of his hands appeared also on the back. The rays of light had struck his hands, his feet, his left side and his forehead.

Just few days went by when Giorgio experienced another ecstasy in Porto Sant'Elpidio, in the presence of a thousand people, friends and sympathizers. This time the Virgin was not by Herself, Jesus was with Her. She transmitted to Giorgio that the last part of the Third Secret of Fatima was entering the "operative" phase, at the end of which there will be the second manifestation of Jesus on Earth. Also, She announced that She would not longer appear to him but from that day on Jesus would advise him and accompany him throughout his mission. As She spoke this words, tears of blood streamed down the wonderful face of the Virgin.

On September 2, 1991, exactly two years after his stigmatization occurred in Fatima, Giorgio, during one of his ecstasies at his home, was stigmatized on his feet by Jesus. At the beginning, they appeared as two bleeding crosses, but in the following days they seemed like the ones marked in the hands. On may 28, 1992 he received the stigmata on the left side and on July 26, 1993 meanwhile he was in Uruguay he received the one on his forehead.

On September 2, 1996, at completion of his 33 years Giorgio wept and bled tears from all stigmata and from the forehead, in the same point where to Jesus the crown of thorns had been hammered.

During the bleeding, in ecstasy, he saw Jesus with the same signs of blood that in that moment were coming out on his body. The same prodigy was repeated on September 2, 1997. The stigmata he received are permanent wounds unlike the case of those who have simple stigmata Those on his feet appeared some time after his hands were stigmatized and the wound in his side months after that. The wound on his forehead which corresponds to Christ's "Crown of Thorns" is more recent. It has spontaneously shaped itself into a very definite cross which is. unusual. However, the coagulated blood of stigmata frequently do form insignia, such as crosses or a crown of thorns, and this has been the case with Giorgio.

His stigmata bleed very day, most often in the morning and this causes him considerable pain. Doctors have tested these flows of blood and expressed amazement at what they find. There has never been any sign of infection as would normally be the case with an open wound. Indeed, in normal circumstances, such an open wound would soon lead to severe infection or even death. Nor does Giorgio display any signs of anemia.

The blood from the stigmata coagulates very rapidly, perhaps within ten seconds. Normal blood would take about ten minutes to coagulate and this is the case with blood taken from veins on other parts of his body. It is almost as if he had two different types of blood in one body.

We can not but think that such a traumatic sign wants to transmit us such a strong message. A message which certainly invites us to pay attention, not only to the experience of Giorgio Bongiovanni but also to the voice of all the ones among researchers, scholars, religious people or simple testimonies who shout an alarm because of the tragical path undertaken by man.

In the course of the last three years, the physical manifestation, the tangibility of the signs has been naturally followed by a deep spiritual maturity which has brought Giorgio to fully realize the sense of his mission together with the objectives to pursue. Unfortunately, in the first months of 1998, lived with deep sadness, occurred the dissociation from his spiritual father Eugenio Siragusa. This suffered decision finds its cause in the non-sharing of Eugenio operative line, which in the last years has become closed but most of all incoherent with those precious teachings which himself, in the past, through a non common wisdom, transmitted to him. Day after day, for Giorgio the charge of his suffering increased but this did not impede to carry on the mission of testimony in the world. Travels continued to follow uninterruptedly. The visited countries are South America, the United States, Russia, Africa, Australia, Europe.

The message divulged by him embraces all the aspects of life reaching chiefs of State, politicians, high military charges, astronauts, scientists, common people. A message that tells the secret of Fatima and all the aspects in it contained, among which the one about the great disclosure of the presence of beings coming from outer worlds, who are visiting Earth and soon will show themselves to its inhabitants "... and in that time, the second half of the XXth century, cosmic beings will come to Earth from remote places of the universe, in the name of God".

These are the words of the Virgin representing the true and the real secret of the secret. The divulgation, carried on by Giorgio, about the message of Fatima, together with its dramatic prophecies of catastrophical events is today supported by the proposal of a concrete alternative for a society based upon Christ's teachings. An alternative named "Antropocrazia", a greek word which means "government by man".

A term of ancient origin whose significance resembles a deep philosophical concept which sees man as a free being responsible of himself and his fellow creatures. Until today the social organization in which we live has never respected these values. The example and the teaching of Jesus Christ have been limited to the rite and the preaching but left aside by the practice of the daily life. Equality, Brotherhood, Justice, Love and Peace appear just as void words to be used when is most convenient. The "antropocrazia" introduces then itself as a valid alternative to the chaotic situation which we are forced to live and which does not seem to show way out.

A suggestion to give a positive turn to life for those who feel a renewed spiritual up-lifting and would like to know how it's possible to realize it in a practical way. If the human being felt the responsibility of the discouraging situation in which he lives and had the courage to establish the need of a change with concrete daily actions, his life would have an immediate turn over. If he empathized with the suffering of the Earth which is hosting him, this blue planet given to him to care for, today in agony because of his egoistic, barbarian actions, he would feel inside the unrestrainable wish to do all that is possible to remedy his serious mistakes. If man became aware of this, we could then see science, religion, rationality and faith melt for the development of a sane society based upon a perfect law which is the law of the spirit. A new theology then which finds its roots deeply set in this time, so that its vital lymph which bears knowledge and truth, flows in the veins of the man of the third millennium. A new theology committed to a free and non-influenced man. A man marked by the Divine Signs of Jesus Christ's suffering, and which represents the ultimate universal manifestation of life, the loftiest example of Divine Love ever given to man.


Giorgio Bongiovanni was told by the beings of light that he was in fact the reincarnation of Francesco Marto, one of the three children of Fatima. The purpose of his stigmata was that the whole world should know of these matters and that the suppressed third secret of Fatima should be made known.

The principal visionary of Fatima, Lucia dos Santos, had given the secrets revealed to her by the Blessed Virgin Mary to her priest and these were passed on to the Vatican. The first two secrets were made public in 1941 but the third secret was never disclosed in 1960 which was when she had been told that it could be revealed.

The first secret was that Francesco and Jacinta, his sister, would soon die and join the Blessed Virgin Mary in heaven. This prediction soon came to pass and both children died of influenza in the great epidemic which raged during 1919-1920.

The second secret was that another world war would scourge the earth if man did not stop offending God. This war would be heralded by a mysterious light in the sky. This prediction also came to pass; the aurora borealis were seen all over Europe on January 25th, 1938, which was not long before the outbreak of World War II. This display of northern lights was most spectacular and extended far further south than is normal. Together with the warning that a further ferocious war might be waged, came a plea to pray for Russia otherwise that country might spread its evil influence throughout the world.

The third secret was supposedly read by Pope John XXIII to a secret conclave of cardinals in the Vatican in 1960. A decision was taken not to reveal it publicly and it is said that distraught and white-faced attendees were seen to emerge from that meeting shortly afterwards.

Giorgio Bongiovanni says that Popes John XXIII and Paul VI communicated the warning of the third secret through diplomatic channels on an unofficial basis. His mission, which if he is the reincarnated Francesco seems especially suitable, is to divulge this secret at the present time. The secret came in three main parts and was interspersed with much invocation to prayer and penance, and warnings of dire misfortune.

Firstly there will be a crisis in the Roman Catholic church which will divide.

Secondly, that there was danger of nuclear war and ensuing holocaust which could erupt at any time in the second half of the 20th Century if man did not stop offending God. This danger, he says, is not yet past although it appears to have receded. (How the concept of "nuclear" war was expressed in 1917, long before such things were known, is a mystery.)

Thirdly, beings of light will be seen by everyone and humanity will discover it is not alone in the universe. This will happen before some great natural catastrophe occurs. The second coming of Jesus, accompanied by beings of light will occur at the end of this century or in the first years of the next century. Giorgio has not been given an exact date for this.

The Purpose of these signs

He says that, as for the crop circles, there would be more signs of this kind all over the world. In the same way as Giorgio's stigmata, these would enlighten and affect man people who would gradually begin to realize that man is not alone and is not the highest form of life in the universe.

Giorgio points to what has happened with successive religions; each one has lead to division, war and the quest for power. He says this is why he does not belong to any religion and does not wish to create a religion or church. Although he describes himself as a Christian, he remains outside the Catholic church, which officially disapproves of much of what he says, such as his claim of reincarnation. 

The Vatican is well aware of Giorgio Bongiovanni and some regard him as a heretic. Nevertheless he has his supporters within the hierarchy. At present he travels widely and has appeared on TV in many countries, spreading the message of "non siamo soli", that we are not alone. Today, he says, this visitation is stronger, more visible and more present than in the past. It is stronger because of the tragic circumstances which man himself has brought abut on earth: war, starvation and the pollution of our planet. Even so, it is for us to change things, he says, though we would receive help from the beings of light if we were to ask for it.

Miracles or mania?

Many dismiss the stigmata as merely a psychosomatic condition which can occur in certain highly religious people who are of a hysterical disposition. Such a glib explanation is hardly consistent with the facts. Undoubtedly a wide variety of psychosomatic conditions can be caused by hysteria but hardly deep wounds which bleed on a regular basis. There are stigmatics undoubtedly who suffer hysteria but it is a totally insufficient explanation. Some like Giorgio are the very opposite, and could be described as serene, even placid.

One should not confuse hypnotically induced stigmata with the genuinely mystical stigmata. The former are transient effects which can be self-induced or induced by hypnosis. Mystical stigmata, which we have considered in the cases above, bleed either perpetually or periodically. The wounds of the genuine stigmatic never heal, nor can they be healed: sometimes deep fissures open up and intense pain is experienced. Transient hypnotic stigmata where the blood - if it appears at all - merely seeps through the skin. Divine stigmata always first appear when the stigmatic is undergoing an ecstasy or vision, and there is no way such deep and permanent wounds can be simulated or faked Just let hoaxers try to produce effects like these!

No discussion of stigmata is complete without mention of one objection which is often raised. It is said that when the Romans crucified their victims they drove nails through their wrists, since if driven through the hands, this would not support the weight of the body, which would tear loose. Thus the wounds of Jesus would not have been in his palms but on his wrists. There is some proof of this from skeletal remains of crucifixion victims but this really is a canard. Very likely those condemned would be tied to the cross before the nails were driven through their hands and this, together with support from a projecting foot block, would be quite sufficient to support  the body's weight.

In attempting to rationalize what many see as a miracle, those who are not metaphysically inclined will maintain that all of these effects are produced by the human psyche: that of the stigmatic himself or herself. External influence, whether divine or extraterrestrial, is a concept that simply cannot be allowed. I suggest that this is an entirely false limitation that results from our established way of looking at the world. If we approach this in terms of consciousness, all consciousness from whatever level is interconnected and so the concept of internal or external influence is simply inapplicable. There are subtle energies and there are also, of course, physical factors which determine these phenomenon. But maybe that is not so much the issue with which we should concern ourselves: the 'how' is of less importance than the 'why'. It is the message of the stigmata and the message of the cropcircles which we should seek to understand.

Excerpted from The Cerealogist #14 - 1995 ppgs 4-6
The Cerealogist - quarterly magazine with articles, pictures. Contact: John Sayer Clements Farm,Wheatley,Bordon,Hampshire,GU35 9PA England $30.yearly.

Mrs Rani John Kanjikode  1996 - Mannampetta

 1997 - Little Audrey, The Silent Soul


The facts having been set forth, it remains to state the explanations that have been offered. Some physiologists, both Catholics and Free-thinkers, have maintained that the wounds might be produced in a purely natural manner by the sole action of the imagination coupled with lively emotions. The person being keenly impressed by the sufferings of the Saviour and penetrated by a great love, this preoccupation acts on her or him physically, reproducing the wounds of Christ. This would in no wise diminish his or her merit in accepting the trial, but the immediate cause of the phenomena would not be supernatural.

We shall not attempt to solve this question. Physiological science does not appear to be far enough advanced to admit a definite solution, and the writer of this article adopts the intermediate position, which seems to him unassailable, that of showing that the arguments in favour of natural explanations are illusory. They are sometimes arbitrary hypotheses, being equivalent to mere assertions, sometimes arguments based exaggerated or misinterpreted facts. But if the progress of medical sciences and psycho-physiology should present serious objections, it must be remembered that neither religion or mysticism is dependent on the solution of these questions, and that in processes of canonization stigmata do not count as incontestable miracles.

No one has ever claimed that imagination could produce wounds in a normal subject; it is true that this faculty can act slightly on the body, as Benedict XIV said, it may accelerate or retard the nerve-currents, but there is no instance of its action on the tissues (De canoniz., III, xxxiii, n. 31). But with regard to persons in an abnormal condition, such as ecstasy or hypnosis, the question is more difficult; and, despite numerous attempts, hypnotism has not produced very clear results. At most, and in exceedingly rare cases, it has induced exudations or a sweat more or less coloured, but this is a very imperfect imitation. Moreover, no explanation has been offered of three circumstances presented by the stigmata of the saints:

  1. Physicians do not succeed in curing these wounds with remedies.
  2. On the other hand, unlike natural wounds of a certain duration, those of stigmatics do not give forth a fetid odour. To this there is known but one exception: St. Rita of Cassia had received on her brow a supernatural wound produced by a thorn detached from the crown of the crucifix. Though this emitted an unbearable odour, there was never any suppuration or morbid alteration of the tissues.
  3. Sometimes these wounds give forth perfumes, for example those of Juana of the Cross, Franciscan prioress of Toledo, and Bl. Lucy of Narni.

To sum up, there is only one means of proving scientifically that the imagination, that is auto-suggestion, may produce stigmata: instead of hypothesis, analogous facts in the natural order must be produced, namely wounds produced apart from a religious idea. This had not been done.

With regard to the flow of blood it has been objected that there have been bloody sweats, but Dr. Lefebvre, professor of medicine at Louvain, has replied that such cases as have been examined by physicians were not due to a moral cause, but to a specific malady. Moreover, it has often been proved by the microscope that the red liquid which oozes forth is not blood; its colour is due to a particular substance, and it does not proceed from a wound, but is due, like sweat, to a dilatation of the pores of the skin. But it may be objected that we unduly minimize the power of the imagination, since, joined to an emotion, it can produce sweat; and as the mere idea of having an acid bon-bon in the mouth produces abundant saliva, so, too, the nerves acted upon by the imagination might produce the emission of a liquid and this liquid might be blood. The answer is that in the instances mentioned there are glands (sudoriparous and salivary) which in the normal state emit a special liquid, and it is easy to understand that the imagination may bring about this secretion; but the nerves adjacent to the skin do not terminate in a gland emitting blood, and without such an organ they are powerless to produce the effects in question. What has been said of the stigmatic wounds applies also to the sufferings. There is not a single experimental proof that imagination could produce them, especially in violent forms.

Another explanation of these phenomena is that the patients produce the wounds either fraudulently or during attacks of somnambulism, unconsciously. But physicians have always taken measures to avoid these sources of error, proceeding with great strictness, particularly in modern times. Sometimes the patient has been watched night and day, sometimes the limbs have been enveloped in sealed bandages. Mr. Pierre Janet placed on one foot of a stigmatic a copper shoe with a window in it through which the development of the wound might be watched, while it was impossible for anyone to touch it (op. cit. supra).

Transcribed by William G. Bilton, Ph.D.
In memory of the Most Rev. Leo T. Maher
Bishop of Santa Rosa and San Diego, California

Is Stigmata for Real?

In a religious context, stigmata are the wounds of Christ's hands, feet, forehead, and side that mysteriously appear on someone else. In some instances only the marks appear, but in the vast majority of cases the appearance of stigmata is accompanied with pain and blood loss (up to 1½ pints per day). Historically, there are well over 300 reported stigmatics, some of whom are living today. Many, many of these cases are well documented by the religious world and the scientific world as well.

One of the best documented modern stigmatics is Jane Hunt in England. On July 25th, 1985 she was "blessed" with the visitation of stigmata. She, like many of her fellow stigmatics before her, experienced a weekly cycle of the sign. On Friday of each week she would manifest deep bleeding wounds in her hands and feet, but by the next Monday or Tuesday no scars nor marks were apparent. This phenomenon was studied carefully by doctors and scientists alike. Indeed, a video documentary was produced that recorded the weekly event and it aired publically in the United Kingdom in 1986.

But is it for real? Actually, the evidence for stigmata is so overwhelming that the only skeptics tend to be the uninformed. Certainly, those medics and scientists who have studied these wonders have been convinced of their authenticity. In some cases the wounds in the hands have been so profound that the scientists and doctors could see light from the other side of the wound.

However, there are some discrepancies with the many occurrences of stigmata. For one, the location, the shape, and the number of wounds vary significantly from one person to another. In some cases the marks are on the hands and feet only. In others, there are wounds on the forehead and the side as well.

And in still others, scrapes on the knees appear. One of the most common discrepancies is the wounds in the side. These vary in location from the right side, to the left, some above the heart, and some below it. Further, the shapes of these wounds vary from a small slit to open wounds in the shape of a cross. All of which gives rise to the question, "If stigmata is a divine manifestation, why isn't it consistent?"

Scientists and doctors alike are baffled by the appearance of stigmata. There have been many theories, but no definitive answers. Most believe that the wounds are psychosomatic. If this is true it would explain the inconsistency of the marks, since the placement would correspond with the subconscious mind's understanding of the crucifixion.

Stigmata at a Kenneth Copeland Meeting
James Randi Catches A Hoaxed Stigmata on Film


5-4-00 - VISIONS - I was working on the web page about Stigmata which I felt needed to be worked on since I watched the movie recently. I got very tired and as usual took my notebook with me, because I usually get messages that way.

I no sooner closed my eyes, and I heard a southern sounding voice which could have been either male or female ... I'm not certain -  The voice said, "I'm going to build  a house FOR me!"  (with the emphasis on the word FOR)

I then was hearing a conversation between several people, both male and female which was very clear, discussing the church's thoughts on Stigmata. They were speaking fast, so I can't repeat all their words verbatim. They were saying that Stigmata is 'not' an automatic response to prayer and fasting.

I then fell asleep and had a dream:

DREAM - I was with my family. I was typing on a typewriter, a study and story about Stigmata and the church. My family wanted to go to the grocery store for food for dinner, so I went with them, taking my typewriter with me.  

I placed my typewriter on an unused counter at the front of the store, and continued working on the paper while the rest of family shopped for the food.  I got distracted a few times by people wandering by, and my brother Marty who was young decided he was going to play in a sandbox with the other kids.  (The name Marty means 'warring') I also noted that there was a huge indoor swimming pool being constructed in an adjoining room and the ceiling was being painted with the blue sky and rainbow colored clouds.

I turned back and there appeared a pleasant looking man wearing a yellow polo shirt and matching pants. He placed a piece of paper on top of my typewriter and I saw his name imprinted on top. It was Domonique Delmonico.  I saw that he had written something on two sides of paper by hand and the word Stigmata was outstanding but so was the name SATAN in big letters on the back side of the paper.

I turned to look at who had placed the paper there and looked up into his face and recognized him. He stood to my left.  I put my left hand on his left arm and said, "I know who you are." I smiled broadly at him, knowing him, yet not quite placing him in my life.

He grinned broadly back and said, "I hope you'll read my words."

I said I would and turned back to my typewriter.  It was gone and so was the paper.

I spun around to see what had happened to it and there was no one in sight. I thought then that perhaps my brother Marty had taken it.  Marty was then playing in a sandbox with some other kids over against the wall and it had a high wall around it to keep sand out of the grocery store, but nobody could see in either.

So, I went to fetch my typewriter and someone said that they saw someone grab the typewriter and take it into an adjoining house. I ran there and the person who was at the top of the steps said, "No! I saw someone run down into the basement with it."

The steps were rather dark to start with, but when I got down a few steps, someone yelled, "Stop!"  I looked down and I could see the floor of the basement was being remodeled, and rather like polished, shiny and etc.  I could hear a work crew down there, but out of sight. The woman's voice, who remained behind the stair wall said, "I saw the person with the typewriter scamper around the corner and down the hall." The place looked really large down there, more than just a house ... more like an apartment building.

At that same moment, Sam Rappaport, the attorney from One Life to Life appeared, and coming around another corner was a woman dressed in a slim brown  and white gingham dress with long medium brown hair. They met in the center and sat down right in front of me to discuss going to dinner.

I put my hand on Sam's arm like I've known him all my life ... (The characters on One Life to Live are like my family after having watched the show for over 30 years. In the recent show, Nora, his fiance and wife to be , also an attorney has just been supposedly blown up in a train derailment and subsequent explosion. He is upset and in denial over her death and says that he can 'feel' her spirit and that he remains loyal to her and to her life which he knows is still there. Everyone else is saying she is dead and there is no chance she can possibly have survived the explosion)

So, I grabbed Sam by the arm and said to him, "If you are really upset and feel like beating someone up, you can go down in the basement and get my typewriter back and beat up the guy."  

He didn't answer but left in that direction, leaving the brown and white gingham dressed woman with me.  She is very thin.  At first I had thought she was a plain looking person, but now when she looks at me, she smiles and her face is radiant, her eyes blue and freckles adorn her nose. I see how truly beautiful she is and know why Sam would be so attracted to her.

At this point, she is laying on her left side and I'm rather leaning on her right hip and can feel her body beneath her dress. She is very frail.

The woman looks at me and say, "I'd like to roll over." I look at her, wondering why she wants to lay down, but I moved over so she could roll over and she does, now laying on her back comfortably.

At this moment, I start to sense that two priests are coming along, discussing Stigmata and are at odds with each other over, not agreeing on it's reasons for appearing, and I started to wake up.


Apparitions/Private Revelations

Catechism of the Catholic Church:

66 "The Christian economy, therefore, since it is the new and definitive Covenant, will never pass away; and no new public revelation is to be expected before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ." Yet even if Revelation is already complete, it has not been made completely explicit; it remains for Christian faith gradually to grasp its full significance over the course of the centuries.

67 Throughout the ages, there have been so-called "private" revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ's definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the Magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church.

Christian faith cannot accept "revelations" that claim to surpass or correct the Revelation of which Christ is the fulfillment, as is the case in certain non-Christian religions and also in certain recent sects which base themselves on such "revelations."

Public Revelation. The Church teaches as de fide (of the faith) that all that the Father desired to reveal for our salvation has been revealed in His Word, Jesus Christ. The Word communicated this Revelation to His Apostles, who either wrote it down or handed it on (traditio) in their preaching and teaching. The deposit of the faith, therefore, is to be found in the twin fountains of Public Revelation, Sacred Scripture and Sacred (Apostolic) Tradition.

The truths contained in Public Revelation are truths which require the supernatural gift of faith to be believed (Mt. 16:17). They cannot be known or proven directly by the senses or human reason, since they concern invisible supernatural realities (the Trinity, divinity of Christ, sacramental graces, etc.). However, the human intellect strengthened by the virtue of faith is made capable of believing revealed truths. Catholics are obliged to believe the entire deposit of the faith by this divine and Catholic faith, the extent of which is known by the teaching of the Church. In the words of the well-known Act of Faith addressed to God,

I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because You have revealed them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived.

The Teaching Authority (Magisterium) of the Church alone, therefore, determines what Catholics must believe by this divine and Catholic faith. Everything else in life rests on human faith in the credibility of assertions of truth of one kind or another, such as whether John Wilkes Booth actually shot Abraham Lincoln or whether the Blessed Virgin appeared to a certain person.

  Private Revelation. Since God continues to reveal Himself to individuals for their personal edification, and that of others, and because it occurs after the close of Public Revelation the Church distinguishes the content of such revelation from the deposit of the faith by calling it private revelation. The test of its authenticity is always its consistency with Public Revelation as guarded faithfully by the Catholic Church. For example, alleged revelations which propose to improve upon, correct or entirely supplant Public Revelation are rejected by the Church as inauthentic, regardless of the claims made for them. Such revelations include those of Mohammed in the Koran, Joseph Smith in the Book of Mormon, the writings of new age mystics, psychics and the like.

Some private revelations, however, the Church has accepted as being worthy of belief or credible. Such private revelations cannot correct or add anything essentially new to Public Revelation; however, they may contribute to a deeper understanding of the faith, provide new lines of theological investigation (such as suggested by the revelations to St. Margaret Mary on the Sacred Heart), or recall mankind prophetically to the living of the Gospel (as at Fátima). No private revelation can ever be necessary for salvation. The person who believes the teachings of the Magisterium, utilizes devoutly the sacramental means of sanctification and prayer, and remains in Communion with the Pope and the bishops in union with him, is already employing the necessary means of salvation. A private revelation may recall wayward individuals to the faith, stir the devotion of the already pious, encourage prayer and penance on behalf of others, but it cannot substitute for the Catholic faith, the sacraments and hierarchical communion with the Pope and bishops.

Another way of saying this is that private revelations may not be believed with divine and Catholic faith. They rest on human faith, the credibility of the evidence in favor of a supernatural origin. In the case of private revelations approved by the highest authority in the Church we can say with Pope Benedict XIV,

Although an assent of Catholic faith may not be given to revelations thus approved, still, an assent of human faith, made according to the rules of prudence, is due them; for according to these rules such revelations are probable and worthy of pious credence. [De Serv. Dei Beatif.]

The Pope is saying that a Catholic, seeing that the Church (and here the Holy See is meant for only it's acts can be of universal effect) has investigated and approved certain revelations, is being prudent to accept them as believable. No Catholic is ever obliged to do so, strictly speaking, since the matter of private revelation cannot command the assent of supernatural faith. However, the conscience of the individual Catholic who knows that the Church is unlikely to be wrong in the case and who seeks to profit by the guidance God gives through authentic mystics and apparitions, could be morally obliged, nonetheless. Since the judgment of an informed conscience is binding, the rejection of an approved apparition could, for such an individual, be sinful by reason of imprudence.

  Sources of Private Revelations. Approved private revelations derive from two sources. First, there is the mysticism of the Servants of God who have been proposed for canonization. When the diocese which initiated the Cause has concluded its investigation and forwarded the documentation to Rome, the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints undertakes its own study of the person's life. If the Congregation determines that he or she lived a life of heroic virtue this decision necessarily includes the judgment that the writings, including any mystical ones, are not contrary to faith and morals. If the Holy Father concurs the person is declared Venerable. The later canonization of the person (generally considered an act of papal infallibility), only heightens the credibility of the person's writings and the pious regard Catholics should have for them, according to the standard given by Benedict XIV.

The second kind of private revelation comes through apparitions. The person who receives an apparition is not necessarily far along in the spiritual life, though they are typically humble and simple souls. God grants this grace for the good of the Church and not as the fruit of contemplative prayer. When apparitions judged worthy of belief at the diocesan level receive the approbation of the Holy See, as indicated by a positive judgment, the granting of papal favors to the apparition site, the approval of a liturgical feast, the canonization of the seer or other clear signs of approval, the words of Pope Benedict XIV can certainly be applied, as well, "an assent of human faith, made according to the rules of prudence, is due them."

  Private Revelations Without Roman Approval. Since most private revelations and alleged apparitions never receive the approval of the Holy See Catholics must often judge for themselves whether they are credible. If the person (whether living or dead) has a reputation for sanctity (such as Padre Pio had), then clearly any mystical revelations have considerable credibility prior to any formal evaluation by the Church. The witness of prudent priests, especially the spiritual director of the person, is a key element in determining credibility.

In the case of apparitions, however, they often occur to obscure individuals with little or no reputation. Their human credibility may rest initially on the attitude of the local clergy and the personal experience of observers. There may or may not be phenomena which suggest something out of the ordinary. The message may or may not be appear to be consistent with Church teaching. Finally they may or may not be investigated by the local bishop to determine if they are credible. In the end the faithful are often left to fend for themselves in a perplexing sea of information. If the message is orthodox, the seer(s) of good reputation, the clergy favorable, the signs supportive, even without an official investigation the faithful can make a prudent judgment that it is credible. Certainly those who were present at the apparitions of Lourdes and Fátima, as well as those who believed in them prior to Church approval, had to have made such a judgment.

Certainly, however, the faithful benefit the most from the judgement of the bishop of the diocese in which the apparition occurs. He has the authority to assemble a commission of scientific and theological experts, as well as the grace of vocation to carry out this pastoral service. While his decision is not infallible, it would have the presumption of being correct and thus should generally be decisive in the prudential judgment of the faithful. It would require very weighty reasons to find defect in such a decision. With respect to any disciplinary precepts the bishop makes concerning the apparition and its site, they should be followed faithfully. No Catholic should ever violate the practical norms laid down by the local bishop with respect to an alleged apparition. Such disobedience would be a sign of the apparition being inauthentic, i.e. producing bad fruit among its followers.

  Types of Decisions. The decision of the local bishop will generally be one of the following: 1) Worthy of belief, 2) Not worthy of belief, and 3) Condemned.

1. Worthy of Belief. An apparition which has been found worthy of belief has achieved a high measure of credibility. It has a message which is not against faith and morals and has shown clear evidence of supernaturality.
     The issue of supernaturality is one that deserves to be explored more fully. According to the common teaching of the Church, most extraordinary phenomena in the mystical order (visions, apparitions, locutions, ecstasies, mystical knowledge etc.) are caused by angels acting on God's behalf. Whether the burning bush which Moses saw, the ecstatic flights of St. Joseph Cupertino, the stigmata of St. Francis or the revelations of St. Catherine, the general rule in the spiritual order is that God does not do immediately and directly what can be done mediately through a lower order nature, in this case the good angels. In order to determine the supernaturality of a phenomena the Church must rule out those things which could have been caused by the good angels, in order to rule out the activity of the fallen ones, as well. The Church  looks, therefore, for a clear sign of God's sovereign action. Each of the approved apparitions have had such clear signs, from the instantaneous and inexplicable cures at Lourdes to the natural prodigy of October 13th 1917 in Fátima. Short of such a supernatural sign an apparition, whatever its other merits, is unlikely to be judged worthy of belief.

2. Not Worthy of Belief. A judgment that an apparition is not worthy of belief can have different causes. It may contain statements which suggests more the ramblings of a pious imagination than the working of God. If there is no doctrinal error and no phenomena to suggest other than a human source the judgment of not worthy of belief warns the faithful not to view it as anything other than pious reading material.
     An apparition may contain some contradictions of Church teaching but with no sign of malice that merits condemnation in the strict sense. Based on the errors in such writings, usually mentioned in the episcopal decree, the faithful are warned of the danger to the faith from reading it.
     At other times the doctrine may be sound and there may be extraordinary phenomena, but insufficient to demonstrate strict supernaturality. Since only the Holy See can make a definitive judgment of supernaturality a local bishop could error in this evaluation. The contradiction of an orthodox message and extraordinary phenomena begs an explanation, however. Is the devil trying to separate Catholics from Church authority? The Catholic who disagrees intellectually with the judgment of supernaturality of the local bishop (as he may for weighty reasons) must not only be prepared to submit to the definitive judgement of the Holy See but to the jurisdiction of the local bishop in all matters under his competence.

3. Finally, an alleged apparition could be condemned. In many ways this is the easiest judgement of all to make. Private revelation which is doctrinally dangerous or which manifests hostility to lawful authority could not come from God. It might simply be human, the work of a sick mind. It could also be demonic, especially if there is evidence of extraordinary signs. The devil gladly mingles truth and lie to deceive the faithful, dazzling them with signs and wonders to give credence to his message. His purpose is to separate them from the Church, either by getting them to believe things contrary to the deposit of the faith or to  act contemptuously of Church authority. An attitude of pride and judgment toward the Church is a clear sign of his presence.

  Responsibility of the Faithful. Today there are a myriad of alleged private revelations and apparitions vying for the attention of the faithful. None have been definitively judged by the Holy See, some have been approved by local authority (e.g. Akita, Cuapa, Betania), others have been found lacking in supernaturality (e.g. Medjugorje, Garabandal), some few have been condemned (e.g. Necedah, Bayside) and finally, the vast majority have received no attention from Church authorities whatsoever.

The first responsibility of the faithful is to remain firmly established in the faith, in the sacraments and in communion with the Pope and bishops. Any Catholic who gives their primary attention to alleged private revelation at the expense of Sacred Scripture, the teaching of the Church (especially the Catechism), sacramental practice, prayer and fidelity to Church authority is off course. The running after spiritual phenomena, such as alleged revelations, is condemned by St. John of the Cross as spiritual avarice. This means that pious souls who would be repulsed by crude materialistic greed think nothing of being greedy to know revelations and prophecies. An exclusive, or even a predominant attention to these matters (especially apocalyptic ones), cannot help but produce an unbalanced spirituality. Should the Church condemn some favorite alleged revelation such a person may find themselves believing more in it than in the supernatural authority of the Church. The devil will have succeeded in what he had set out to do.

The second responsibility is to have regard, in the first place, for those private revelations and apparitions approved by the Church. Within a balanced practice of the faith the edifying content of approved private revelations can be a motive for deeper piety and fidelity to the Gospel. God has chosen to give guidance to the Church in particular eras in this way and we would, as I noted above, be imprudent to disregard altogether what are credibly His prophetic interventions in the life of His Church.

Finally, there are many other private revelations that have not received Church approval. The Second Vatican Council urges us to discern the Spirit in the case of such extraordinary graces [Lumen gentium 12], which means being neither gullible or incredulous, but subjecting them to all relevant theological and human tests of credibility. Clearly, in this the judgment of the local bishop is the key element of such a discernment as I noted above. Often enough, unfortunately, the laity are left to make this determination themselves, relying on the testimony of the events, the judgement of holy and orthodox priests and common sense. It must always be kept in mind that however credible and reasonable such revelations seem to be, God would never ask one to separate oneself from the faith and discipline of the Church to follow it.


@Spirit Daily

In recent years a new phenomenon has developed: the claim that certain priests have stigmata, the mystical wounds of Christ. This is interesting because while many have reported the phenomenon of stigmata through the centuries (and dozens in just the past several years), it's unusual for a priest to bear this phenomenon. Indeed, we have seen an estimate of at least 321 major stigmatists since the time of St. Francis, but until the 20th century, when Blessed Padre Pio of Italy (who hopefully will be canonized next September), burst upon the scene, there were no known stigmatic priests -- or at least such is the common wisdom.

We believe there have been more than that through history, and they're certainly around today. We receive many inquiries about Father Zlatko Sudac, a Croatian priest who is alleged to have the wounds on his wrists, feet, side, and forehead (where a mystical "wound" forms a perfect cross).  He is currently studying in the United States -- ironically, a nation that has itself produced one of the rare stigmatic priests in the way of Father James Bruse of St. Francis de Sales parish in Kilmarnock, Virginia, about 60 miles northeast of Richmond.

Along with Padre Pio and an Italian priest known as Father Gino, Father Bruse was one of only three known stigmatic priests in the twentieth century. The phenomena around him began ten years ago this week, when, on November 28, 1991, droplets of water welled in the eyes of a statue in the home of his parents. It was a statue of Our Lady of Grace. Soon, dozens of other statues began to weep anytime the priest was around, and thousands saw it. Interestingly, this was in a diocese that includes the FBI academy, a Marine base, and the Pentagon. It had started at a point in his life when Father Bruse, a young priest, began to question whether he should be a priest at all.

The day after Christmas that year, Father Bruse complained of sharp pains in his wrists, and before long blood appeared to seep from unbroken skin on his wrists, feet, and right side. Meanwhile the phenomena included statues that not only wept but changed color-- followed by healing and the fruit the Church looks for: conversions.

"There were spiritual and physical healings," said Father Bruse. "Then there were people coming back to the Church. If that's what the Lord wanted, He got it."

Father Bruse strictly obeyed his superiors, and at the height of the phenomena was under the strict control of the bishop. At one point, a statue wept in the bishop's very office. There was at least one claim of a bilocation in connection with Father Bruse (something that was frequently claimed for Padre Pio), and other unusual phenomena. He approaches these matters in a low-key, humble, and circumspect fashion.

He is a pastor now, and takes care of two churches, and so his energy, to a large extent, has been diverted but the feeling -- the sensation of speaking with a holy man -- is still there. He is near the Chesapeake Bay, and says the more recent phenomena have involved rosaries turning color, which is also reported at Medjugorje. 

As we said, there are many laymen and women who claim stigmata. There are dozens in North America alone. We've seen it ourselves. We've been in the presence of one alleged mystic when blood began to appear on the forehead. But why are priests now experiencing it? Is it just that it now receives attention, and that in the past it was kept quiet by bishops?

Indeed, Father Bruse's bishop attempted to keep it low-key, but so many people experienced phenomena that it even made the cover of U.S. News and World Report. The healings have included a girl who recovered from partial blindness and a tumor.

What does it mean?

"Something is getting ready to happen," believes Father Bruse. "The Lord is just making us aware that He is there and He is real." As for our times and especially what has happened recently, in New York as well as the Pentagon: "I see that as something getting ready to happen. I think it's a major wake-up call that's going on, and I think that all that I see -- the weird temperature, the polar caps, the earthquakes -- there's a lot going on and I think we should all be prepared. I really do. I've had a lot more come back to church and Confession. I think it's all different than a few years back. I think we're in a different era now."

Most important, he stresses, is faith, and the devotions taught by the Church. Whatever doubts about God he may have had, or at least about the priesthood, are gone. "We don't have to worry about what's beyond death," he was reportedly to have said. "We know. It's total love. Christ is the real power behind all these phenomena. Christ is preparing us for the Kingdom of God, saying 'be prepared,' but shouting it out now. It's as if Christ is saying 'wake up! Let's get moving on our spirituality.' I believe it's building up to something big."

Other Miracle of the Church's Faithful

Mysteries of Religious Phenomena

Cross of Light Appears on the Ceiling

Marian Apparitions Increasing

Angel Stories

Our Lady of  Naju

Miracles and Mass Hallucinations - Past and Future

Weeping Statues

Tanquerey: The Spiritual Life - Written in 1489

The apparitions in Damascus

Inexplicable Eucharistic Phenomena

Messages From Our Heavenly Mother To Her Children - 1916 - 1964

Stigmata Movie: End of Days - X rated