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Stigmata are bodily marks, sores, or sensations of pain in locations corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus. The term originates from the line at the end of Saint Paul's Letter to the Galatians where he says, "I bear on my body the stígmata of Jesus" - stigmata is the plural of the Greek word στίγμα, stígma, a mark or brand such as might have been used for identification of an animal or slave. An individual bearing stigmata is referred to as a stigmatic.
The causes of stigmata may vary from case to case, though supernatural causes have never been proven. Stigmata are primarily associated with the Roman Catholic faith. Many reported stigmatics are members of Catholic religious orders. The majority of reported stigmatics are female. 
In the century after the death of St. Francis, more than 20 additional cases of stigmata were reported. Stigmata have continued to be reported since, with over 300 cases by the end of the 19th century.
In the 20th century, the number of cases increased dramatically; over 500 cases have now been recorded. In modern times, increasing numbers of ordinary people as opposed to the usual mystics or members of religious orders, have began to report stigmata. Although rarer, cases have been reported among non-Catholic Christians, including a young black Baptist girl.
The first written record of a woman to have received stigmata is in the Medieval Codex Iuliacensis, circa 1320–1350, reporting the stigmata of Blessed Christina von Stommeln (d. 1312), whose relics rest in the Propsteikirche in Jülich, near Aachen. It is claimed that one can still see marks from the crown of thorns on Bl. Christina's skull, which is publicly displayed during the octave beginning every 6 November in Jülich.
Cases of stigmata take various forms. Many show some or all of the five Holy Wounds that were, according to the Bible, inflicted on Jesus during his crucifixion: wounds in the wrists and feet, from nails, and in the side, from a lance. Some stigmatics display wounds to the forehead similar to those caused by the crown of thorns. Other reported forms include tears of blood or sweating blood, wounds to the back as from scourging, or wounds to the shoulder as from bearing the cross. In addition, in some cases lashes on the back can be witnessed.
Some stigmatics claim to feel the pain of wounds with no external marks; these are referred to as invisible stigmata. In other claims, stigmata are accompanied by extreme pain. Some stigmatics' wounds do not appear to clot, and stay fresh and uninfected. The blood from the wounds is said, in some cases, to have a pleasant, perfumed odor, known as the Odour of Sanctity.
Individuals who have obtained the stigmata are many times described as ecstatics. At the time of receiving the stigmata they often have a mystical experience or a vision of Christ. In more recent times an individual’s stigmata is reported to heal within a few hours of its reception. Blood pours from the individual’s wounds for unspecified amounts of time and suddenly dries up, and the wound is healed. Some individuals with stigmata in the past sought medical attention, but neither remedies nor medical treatment of any other sort could cure their wounds. Stigmatics, such as St. Francis were affected by the stigmata for an extended period of time; however, the wounds never rotted or possessed a rank odor or became infected. Reported stigmatics are usually devout Roman Catholics. The wounded area is most likely to heal in less than 2 hours leaving no mark or trace of a wound.
 Famous stigmatics
- Lucia Brocadelli of Narni
- Saint Catherine of Ricci
- Saint Catherine of Siena
- Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich
- Saint Francis of Assisi
- Saint Gemma Galgani
- Saint Veronica Giuliani
- Saint John of God
- Saint Faustina Kowalska
- Saint Marie of the Incarnation
- Sister Therese Margaret
- Sister Mariam Thresia
- Therese Neumann
- Saint Pio of Pietrelcina (aka Padre Pio)
- Saint Rita of Cascia
- Zlatko Sudac
- Haile Selassie (of the Rastafari religion)
Sourced From: WIKIPEDIA
Posted by: Mel Avila Alarilla