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"Sign of the passion of Christ"

Hands and feet of the Savior were pierced with nails. Put on your head a crown of thorns scratched his forehead and scalp And one of the Roman legionaries struck him with a spear in the chest, leaving a deep wound ...

... For more than 750 years, some Christians appear stigmata - signs of Christ's suffering. They can have the form of bloody wounds (stigma - in Greek "prick", "wound") on the palms - as if they nailed, sometimes the same wounds appear on the feet Some carriers stigmata have wounds on the forehead, resembling pricks and scratches crown of thorns, the other - the bloody stripes on the back, traces of flagellation.

It is believed that the first carrier of the stigmata was St. Francis of Assisi. Stigmata on it appeared in 1224, during the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Legend states that St. Francis had a vision an angel that the five rays of light excised the stigmata on the hands and feet of the ascetic.

There are, however, claim that the first evidence of stigmata refers to much earlier times - to the first years of Christianity. In one of the epistles of Paul the Apostle says that Paul "after the crucifixion of Christ, found the wound, like Jesus." Paul's words can be interpreted as literally, in the sense of gaining their stigmata and metaphorically. However, this is the only evidence of the first centuries of Christianity - after nearly a thousand years of the appearance of stigmata, nothing was heard.

There are several theories about why the stigmata began to appear only at the beginning of this millennium. The first of these relates the appearance of stigmata with escalated in XI-XII centuries theological disputes. After registration of the schism in 1054 in the Catholic and Orthodox Church, Catholics proclaimed the so-called "doctrine of the Resurrection." Theological reflection focused on the development of the ideas of the human nature of Jesus Christ. in remembrance of the earth, physical life of the Savior, from the Nativity to the crucifixion - a new religious festival of Corpus Christi (Corpus Christi) was established. It was at this time and are the first data about the appearance of stigmata.

Another theory explains the spread stigmata total intensity and expressiveness of religious art of the time. In vogue naturalistic, full of images of bloody scenes of Christ's passion, a very impressive and exciting feelings of believers. Another hypothesis suggests that laypeople, especially women, feel excluded from the sacrament implementation of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. This resentment was aggravated by the general opinion on the corruption of the church. The appearance of stigmata strengthened the laity in the opinion that Christ himself is tending his flock, giving believers in direct contact with the body of Christ.

French physician Amber Hurbo in the XIX century described the approximately 300 cases stigmatism, based on historical records and modern it known, but most of his messages declared invalid today. He was a fanatical Catholic and created his work as an enthusiast, without a critical approach. By today's estimates, over the last 800 years can be called with respect to 406 confirmed cases stigmatism. Most carriers stigmata were Catholics (68 percent), the rest - the members of the various religious sects.

Previously, the stigmata appeared mainly on the inhabitants of the Mediterranean countries, mainly Italy, today the stigmata among carriers have Japanese, Koreans, at least four American, Argentinian, Canadian.

Thousands of people believe that the stigmata - the gift of God. There is another opinion - one of the theosophical school believes that the stigmata - the sign of Satan. In the Catholic Church there for that proclaims the Holy Father Pio - Italian priest, the media stigma. Since it involves a lot of supernatural events, including numerous stories about the ability to father Pio dowsing, the instantaneous movement of thousands of kilometers from one point to another planet. Cases of miraculous healings, committed by the father Pio, according to its adherents, allow us to consider it God's chosen one.

Official Vatican very wary of the facts of the appearance of stigmata. Standard procedure requires that it took some time - sometimes up to 100 years - since the stigmatic's death, the church was able to canonize him. The priests and medical experts appointed by the Vatican, carefully study each case the appearance of stigmata, taking into account all the details of the "pros" and "cons". The Church recognizes that the stigmata could appear in public, and have a wonderful or inexplicable nature, but in most cases, according to church experts, the source of the appearance of stigmata should seek psychiatrists: stigma, many carriers have strong signs of hysteria. In some cases, stigmatics noted the presence of a variety of clinical syndromes, and the inclination to self-torture, extremely low self-esteem, bordering on self-loathing. A separate group of carriers stigmata are those who explain the origin of his injuries by contact with aliens. One of the most well-known today stigmatics, Italian Giorgio Bondzhovanni, in their stories presents the audience with a bizarre mixture of Catholicism and explains the origin of ufology stigmata on himself meeting with the aliens.

It's easy to assume that the person with unstable mentality themselves cause injuries, but stigmatism is actually a more complex phenomenon. The fact that most stigmatics not remember when and under what circumstances they were wounds on the body. And there is ample evidence that the stigmata, as they do not treat, and again appear on the body of the carrier and in the same places. Several experiments conducted by Dr. Marco Marnelli (Italy) with the bearer of stigmata Lo Bianco, showed that healed stigmata able to repeatedly appear in her arms again, and every time the stigmata began to appear on her body, Lo Bianco fell into a trance and saw the rosary and cross state. Already mentioned Padre Pio seen in a trance himself. American Ethel Chapman got the stigmata in the form of traces of the nails in his hands, while in the hospital, where the unconscious scene saw his own crucifixion.

The state of trance, which fall stigmatic allowed supporters of rational thought put forward the assumption that the stigmata (if it is not a case of intentional autotravmatizma) have a psychosomatic nature. But among ordinary believers to the media stigma persists relationship as God's chosen ones. To this are added the many stories about the ability of some stigmatics to levitate from the wounds of the stigmata of other carriers allegedly emanates a wonderful aroma, and so on. D. As a rule, these cases are quite explainable nature.

Both secular and religious experts say that you can not clearly relate to the phenomenon of stigmatism. Most of the stigmata have a completely ordinary origins, but many cases stigmatism really can not be explained rationally. This is a very complex phenomenon, which intertwined and physical and psychosomatic and supernatural causes. Perhaps this phenomenon will ever be explained. And as long as people believe in miracles ...

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