"Let unity, the greatest good of all goods, be your preoccupation." - St. Ignatius of Antioch (Letter to St. Polycarp)
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Stigmata: From God or not?
Today is the feast day of St. Pio of Pietrelcina (known as Padre Pio). He is a modern day Catholic saint who died at 2:30 AM on this day in 1968. His life is quite amazing, and the stories told about him are remarkable. The most amazing thing about him is that he bore the stigmata (the five wounds of Christ; cf. Galatians 6:17) for 50 years. More information has recently been released about his stigmata here. I wrote a bit more about him last year here.
The Catholic encyclopedia article on mystical stigmata is here. St. Francis of Assisi received the stigmata on the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross (September 14) in the year 1224.
According to the Catholic encyclopedia article, there have been over three hundred persons who have received the stigmata. So far as I know, they have all been Catholic. So, are stigmata from God or not? If stigmata are not from God, then why were men like St. Francis and St. Pio such holy men? But if stigmata are from God, then why do Catholics receive them but Protestants do not?