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Daily Catholic Question

What is the stigmata and who has had it?

The stigmata are the marks of the wounds of Christ that appear on the bodies of believers.

Ian Wilson, in his book Stigmata: An Investigation Into the Mysterious Appearances of Christ's Wounds in Hundreds of People from Medieval Italy to Modern America, says that there have been more than 300 stigmatics since St. Francis of Assisi. Besides St. Francis, the list ranges from such well-known people as Blessed Angela of Foligno, St. Catherine of Siena and Padre Pio to Johann Jetzer, a poor farmer, and Cloretta Robinson, a Baptist girl from West Oakland, California.

Wilson concludes that the presence of the stigmata is not a guarantee of sanctity or the miraculous. He sees the phenomenon as surrounded by mystery but also sees a relationship with the phenomena of multiple personalities and hypnosis and the power of mind over matter.

Click here for the rest of today's answer

Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Daily Catholic Question for 3/19/2013 Daily Catholic Question for 3/21/2013


Angela Merici: Angela has the double distinction of founding the first teaching congregation of women in the Church and what is now called a “secular institute” of religious women. 
<p>As a young woman she became a member of the Third Order of St. Francis (now known as the Secular Franciscan Order), and lived a life of great austerity, wishing, like St. Francis, to own nothing, not even a bed. Early in life she was appalled at the ignorance among poorer children, whose parents could not or would not teach them the elements of religion. Angela’s charming manner and good looks complemented her natural qualities of leadership. Others joined her in giving regular instruction to the little girls of their neighborhood. </p><p>She was invited to live with a family in Brescia (where, she had been told in a vision, she would one day found a religious community). Her work continued and became well known. She became the center of a group of people with similar ideals. </p><p>She eagerly took the opportunity for a trip to the Holy Land. When they had gotten as far as Crete, she was struck with blindness. Her friends wanted to return home, but she insisted on going through with the pilgrimage, and visited the sacred shrines with as much devotion and enthusiasm as if she had her sight. On the way back, while praying before a crucifix, her sight was restored at the same place where it had been lost. </p><p>At 57, she organized a group of 12 girls to help her in catechetical work. Four years later the group had increased to 28. She formed them into the Company of St. Ursula (patroness of medieval universities and venerated as a leader of women) for the purpose of re-Christianizing family life through solid Christian education of future wives and mothers. The members continued to live at home, had no special habit and took no formal vows, though the early Rule prescribed the practice of virginity, poverty and obedience. The idea of a teaching congregation of women was new and took time to develop. The community thus existed as a “secular institute” until some years after Angela’s death.</p> American Catholic Blog I hear far more people discuss the presence of evil in their lives than they do the supreme power of grace. God is bigger than evil!

 
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