Saturday, February 19, 2005

The Catholic faith
Why stigmatists?
This question came up on a message board today about stigmatists, those who bear Christ’s wounds like St Francis or St Pius of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio):

...if Christ only had to suffer the Passion once, why did this woman [in this person’s example] suffer it 182 times?
Good question. While I’m no expert here’s my attempt at an answer.

First, one can compare it to crying icons/icons that drip or stream oil and incidents where the Sacrament turns into flesh and blood, not only in the miracle of Lanciano but AFAIK IIRC something actually covered in the rubrics of the Russian Orthodox Church (which the questioner attends) so it’s happened more than once! There’s always the possibility that God will work a miracle to better show Himself to us.

Rather than fall for the Protestant dodge ‘you idol-worshipping papists, et al. recrucify Jeeeeesus’ I think it’d be at least more accurate, maybe even on target, to say that stigmatists:

1) do penance/ascesis/подвигъ by sharing in Christ’s sufferings, the salvific oblation of Himself once offered in the flesh and

2) like the Mass/Liturgy IS a real re-presentation of that one Sacrifice (in an unbloody manner), are an icon of that Sacrifice, not literally it (the Mass is) nor a repetition of it, nor an addition to it, which are of course impossible.

Hope that helps answer the question.

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