The word stigmata is a plural for the word stigma, meaning a mark, tattoo or branding that was often used to brand an animal or slave.
The reason we use the term for these cases can be found at the end of Saint Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, where he says ”I bear on my body, the marks of Jesus.”
It is these ‘marks of Jesus’ that are what is being referred to as ‘stigmata’, the marks are believed to be the wounds that Jesus received during his crucifixion.
Stigmata is generally associated with the Catholic faith, this is because of St Francis Assisi being the first ever recorded case of this unexplained phenomenon.
The Five Stages Of Stigmata
Like the five stages of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, people experiencing Stigmata often display five separate signs.
1. Wounds around the head. These often appear as a very frightening representation of when the Crown of Thorns where cutting into Jesus’s flesh.
2. Lacerations to the back. These are from the whipping’s that Jesus received before his crucifixion.
3. Holes through the hands. Studies have shown that placing the nails into the palms of the hands pointing towards the wrist would easily hold the weight. These are the holes what Jesus received while his hands where hammered to the cross.
4. Holes through the feet. These appear because of how the son of God’s feet were hammered to the cross.
5. The Spear through the chest. While on the cross Jesus received a Spear to the chest thus ensuring his life was ended. This spear is known as the ‘Spear Of Destiny‘.
Some claims of another possible sign of stigmata is crying or sweating blood, this represents when Mary cried so hard at Jesus’s crucifixion that her tears turned to blood.
Written By Jamie Lee Tappin