Last night, I was trying not to think of the things that were bothering me (largely Trump, along with some other stuff) when the word “stigmata” popped into my head. I don’t know why. I’ve always liked the sound of the word and the actual phenomenon too.

Just say it aloud: STIGMATA! It’s a winner every time.

So I googled stigmata and forgot all about my troubles (and yours.)


St. Gemma Galgani, above, was a real pain in the ass, apparently. I guess it’s part of being a saint. She also levitated.

Stigmata can occur in regular people, ahem, and here’s what an expert says:

History has shown that the stigmata can occur in a wide variety of persons, circumstances and conditions. While the vast majority of recipients have been women (90%), and most of them religious nuns, it has occurred numerous times throughout the centuries in a number of lay men and women, single and married. From the 1980’s to today for example it has (allegedly) occurred in the young married Catholic woman named Myrna Nazzour of Damascus, Syria and also in a retired married Catholic man from Michigan named Irving “Francis” Houle who died in 2009.

Uh-oh. I don’t like that “stigmatics” are usually women. It sounds suspiciously like fibromyalgia, only messier. But here’s something interesting, from the same expert:

… in regards to the blood that comes forth from the stigmatised wounds, this writer has found that in almost every case that I have researched, there is reported an accompanying sweet, flowery odor that emanates from the blood itself.

Whoa. That is worrisome, if you know what I mean.

Therese Neumann, below, was a total mess. She suffered and suffered and suffered.

I’m beginning to think these “stigmatists” are a teeny bit masochistic. Sister Consolata Betrone wrote “It is my fate to die in little pieces”. Sadly, she died of tuberculosis instead.

Rhoda Wise, below, had the usual hand stigmata but was also blessed with the “crown of thorns” bleeding from the forehead.

I know you’ve probably had enough but just let me sneak in a picture of Teresa Musco:

There is so much to learn, and marvel at, about stigmata. At one point in my research, I couldn’t help but laugh, as Oscar Wilde said about the death of Little Nell.  Laughing is good! We need all the laughs we can get. And in case you’re worried that I’m losing my mind, I wrote about stigmata back in 2007. So there.

I would almost call it a guilty pleasure, but since I’m not Catholic, it’s a guilt-free pleasure. If I go to hell, I’ll let you know.

This entry was posted in Art, Disorders, Horrible Stuff, Religion, Words and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Stigmata!

  1. Andra says:

    Religion is the scariest thing I know.
    Leave it alone. No good can come from it.

  2. Romeo says:

    Many of these photos look as if they’ve been doctored. Pictures of dog butts that look like Jesus? Those are definitely real.

  3. Mark-E says:

    Teresa Musco is a fraud. The others are real.

    In college, I fell off my bike and suffered two wounds that looked suspiciously like Jesus’ palm wounds. I joked that I had stigmata, and this freakishly religious young woman in my dorm told me I shouldn’t joke about it. She was really upset. She wore black cardigans every day, even in the warmer months.

    I’m pretty sure now she’s a lesbian who lives in Seattle.

  4. Sister Wolf says:

    Andra – Amen.

    Romeo – You’re just a great big Doubter, aren’t you?

    Mark-E – I had a feeling you were really special! Seattle is good cardigan weather.

  5. Jlynn says:

    As little Catholic girl, the thought of being “blessed” with stigmata plagued my too-vivid imagination, along with tales of saints so saintly that demons swooped in to terrorize the faith out of them. I was trying so hard to be good like Jesus, then they told me the reward for being REALLY good might be endless torment on earth by actual demons, or a chance to experience firsthand the agonizing wounds of Christ. WTF?

    (Btw, I just bought some Pepperidge Farm Strawberry Sweet and Simple Thumbprint Cookies that look exactly like Teresa Musco’s hand-holes. I can’t decide if the resemblance makes the cookies less appealing or the hand-holes more appealing…)

  6. Sister Wolf says:

    Jlynn – Hahahahahhaha! Those cookies will never look like cookies after this. In fact, I wish I had one right now.

  7. Dj says:

    Ah yes, the dreaded stigmata that scared and fascinated me in my youth! I am a kind of Katholic, I hate all this rubbish! Suffering is good! Pain is good! Offer your pain to Christ! The tortilla has an image of the stigmata! Look, there’s a cloud that looks like Jesus! Bullshit. Give me a Norco, a heating pad and a vodka martini. And a bunch of strawberry thumb print cookies! Hysterical sobs.

  8. Kellie says:

    I have a pair of boots that make a round red mark on the front of each of my ankles, right where they join my feet. I always refer to it as my “stigmata”.
    Bauhaus has a song “Stigmata Martyr”.
    Embrace the dark.

  9. Penny says:

    Hurry up with a new post SW…….. I’m sick of looking at these crazy fuckers, they give me the creeps!!

  10. I’m a lesbian and i dont’ live in Seattle, but hey I was into Stigmata big time!!
    Padre Pio had stigmata.. he even came to my church in Jamaica Queens, but way
    before the 70s, when I was growing up in the disco years! I was into him big time!!
    (To be even more creepy, his body can be seen in this small town in Italia, yup he is in a glass case in San Giovanni Rotondo! Though, I don’t think you can see the Pepperidge Farm Cookie wound ….
    But just wanted to mention, My mother loved THERESE NEWMAN, and had a photo of her… that was LESS of a mess of a photo than the one you have above. But yeah, what a mess… BTW, I doubt that photo made me lesbionic.. but hey, ya never know!! Viva la Pepperidge Farm STrawbery wound cookie… on the floor in hysterics with that revelation!!

  11. Sister Wolf says:

    Dj – YES to everything. Too bad Vicodin is so constipating.

    Kellie – You hafta take your stigmata where ever you can get ’em.

    Penny – I know, I’ll try, bound up in entropy, inertia, and restraining orders.

    kansas von kanarse – Thank you for weighing in, I love your website!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *