The stigmata is sores or wounds in the places that Jesus suffered wounds during the crucifixion. That's about as much as I know.

My questions, to be answered from a Catholic perspective:

  1. What's the purpose of the stigmata?

  2. What is the Biblical basis, if any, for the stigmata?

  3. How does the stigmata not indicate Christ's suffering was insufficient?

  4. How do we know that the stigmata reflects Christ's crucifixion and not someone else that was crucified?

  1. Stigmata is a grace given to a follower of Christ₁, meaning

  2. Stigmata is not public revelation, nor could it be. So it's not biblical in the way the 7 Sacraments (Baptism, Marriage, the Eucharist, Reconciliation, Holy Orders, Last Rites and Confirmation) are.

  3. These private revelations often come directly from Christ Himself. It is contingent on the authority of the Church ₂ to quash belief in a particular private revelation or allow it to continue.

do all work miracles? (1 Cor 12:29)

thou art peter (Matt 16:18))

  • 4
    that's a great answer - except it doesn't answer the question with a biblical backing
    – warren
    Oct 3 '11 at 19:08
  • 1
    I'd say it answers the question quite well, and succinctly, as it directly addresses whether it is Biblical or not. Oct 4 '11 at 1:50

I can pick a few verses from here to show some Biblical backing on the stigmata: What does the bible say about the stigmata?

Galatians 6:17 ESV

From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.

1 Peter 4:13 ESV

But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

From Wikipedia's article on the Stigmata you can read more on the origin, but St. Francis of Assisi was the first recorded example of someone have a stigmata, but, as is mentioned, Padre Pio (I believe he is now a saint) endured this for 50 years and it could be investigated by modern doctors.

The fact that there are some examples of non-Christian stigmata was interesting, but when someone is close to God and they are blessed with the stigmata, and it brings them closer, it appears to be from God. But, as when someone does miracle healings, we have no idea if these are truly from God, we have to take it on faith, and look at the fruits from that tree (does that person bring Glory to God for example).

  • 1
    +1 for Galatians 6:17. I've heard about such verse used to state the biblical basis of stigmata
    – deps_stats
    Oct 24 '11 at 15:41

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