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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. 1. What is a stigmata? I heard it is a person who bears the marks of Christ.

A. 1. According to Christian tradition, stigmata are marks that correspond to those left on Jesusí body by the Crucifixion. These marks are said to have been impressed by Divine favor on the bodies of St. Francis of Assisi and others.

In other words, stigmata (singular stigma) is a term used by members of the Christian faith to describe body marks, sores, or sensations of pain in locations corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus Christ, such as the hands, wrists, and feet.

The term originates from the line at the end of Saint Paul's Letter to the Galatians where he says, "I bear on my body the marks of Jesus." Stigmata is the plural of the Greek word stigma, meaning a mark, tattoo, or brand such as might have been used for the identification of an animal or slave. Accordingly, the stigmata is the mark left by Jesus on a favoured Christian to identify that particular person as His personal possession.

An individual bearing stigmata is referred to as a stigmatic or a stigmatist.

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