"Let unity, the greatest good of all goods, be your preoccupation." - St. Ignatius of Antioch (Letter to St. Polycarp)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Stigmata

Yesterday, September 17, was also the day that St. Francis received the stigmata (the five wounds of Christ; cf. Galatians 6:17). So yesterday was also the Feast of the Stigmata of St. Francis, celebrated by the Franciscans.

[CORRECTION: September 14 is the day St. Francis received the stigmata; but the Church celebrates this event on September 17.]

There have been at least three hundred persons who have received the stigmata. The Catholic Encyclopedia article on this subject gives more details.

One of the more well-known stigmatics is the late St. Padre Pio. He is a modern day Catholic saint, who died 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 for 50 years. The wikipedia article on Padre Pio is here. Videos about him can be viewed here and here. Video clips from his last mass can be seen here.

St. Francis and St. Padre Pio, please pray for the unity of the Church. Please pray that our divisions would cease, and our schisms reconciled. Lord Jesus, may we bear in our bodies the wounds you suffered, that the wounds in your mystical Body might be removed. May we carry our cross, and die to ourselves, that we might live in true unity in your Body, the Church. Amen.

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