Originally Posted by Found Goat
In my twenties, I knew an acquaintance who was enrolled in a Christian college. (He dressed at the time in gothic garb and soon afterwards got involved in Wicca.) As a collegian, he loved reading about this topic and was quite fond of St. Francis of Assisi (c. 1220), a well-known stigmatic who was said to exude radiance. It was at that time I was introduced to this phenomenal area of study. I began delving into this topic myself and was fascinated with the account of Padre Pio Forgione, another one of these “holey” men, from the 20th century.
From what I understand, stigmaticism is an anomaly that occurs primarily within Catholicism; is a rare occurrence (something like only a few hundred recorded cases within the last millennium); with the experiencer being a highly devout, meditative sort, divinely blessed and pure in heart.
If stigmata occurs outside of Catholicism, it is probably even rarer still and are likely not authentic cases. Fakery may be involved in the way of self-inflicted wounds or blasphemous tattoos. Is the person regarded by others as virtuous, even saintly? If not, psychosis or fraud may be at work. Whatever the case, stigmatism ought to be almost extinct by now as the world becomes less pious and more mechanistic.
What I’ve always found a curious feature of this phenomenon is that the nail and spear wounds that materialize, said to replicate the Crucifixion marks, always tend to appear in the palms of these stigmatics, when numerous Bible scholars have questioned whether Christ was impaled rather through his overlapping wrists, instead. Some Bible readers think the Apostle Paul is referring to stigmata at Galatians 6:17, whereas others interpret this verse to be in reference to persecution scars.
I personally think it is caused by ' Religious Hysteria '. The power of the mind is something we haven't tapped into.
I cannot find any Stigmatics outside of Christianity, which is strange, or maybe not. Stigmatics would bring money into the Church Coffers. Padre Pio was found to be a fake when Documents came to light in the Vatican Archives, these were covered up obviously, his Followers would have paid for his favours. How many more are fake, who knows and I'm sure there will be some genuine. Therese Neumann is an interesting case.