Tag: Saints of Impossible Causes

THE 4 PATRON SAINTS OF IMPOSSIBLE CAUSES

THE 4 PATRON SAINTS OF IMPOSSIBLE CAUSES

By Vincent | March 15, 2019

The 4 Patron Saints of Impossible Causes

There are instances in every person’s life when it seems that a problem is insurmountable or a cross is unbearable.  In these cases, pray to the patron saints of impossible causes: St. Rita of CasciaSt. Jude ThaddeusSt. Philomena and St. Gregory of Neocaesarea. Read their life stories below.

ST. RITA OF CASCIA

St. Rita of Cascia

St. Rita was born in 1381 in Roccaporena, Italy. She lived a very difficult life on earth, but she never let it destroy her faith.

Although she had a deep wish to enter religious life, her parents arranged her marriage at a young age to a cruel and unfaithful man. Because of Rita’s prayers, he finally experienced a conversion after almost 20 years of unhappy marriage, only to be murdered by an enemy soon after his conversion. Her two sons became ill and died following their father’s death, leaving Rita without family.

St. Rita statue

She hoped again to enter the religious life, but was denied entrance to the Augustinian convent many times before finally being accepted. Upon entry, Rita was asked to tend to a dead piece of vine as an act of obedience. She watered the stick obediently, and it inexplicably yielded grapes. The plant still grows at the convent, and its leaves are distributed to those seeking miraculous healing.

For the rest of her life until her death in 1457, Rita experienced illness and an ugly, open wound on her forehead that repulsed those around her. Like the other calamities in her life, she accepted this situation with grace, viewing her wound as a physical participation in Jesus’ suffering from His crown of thorns.

Although her life was filled with seemingly impossible circumstances and causes for despair, St. Rita never lost her faith weakened in her resolve to love God.

Her feast day is May 22. Countless miracles have been attributed to her intercession.

ST. JUDE THADDEUS

St. Jude

Not much is known of St. Jude‘s life, although he is perhaps the most popular patron of impossible causes.

St. Jude was one of Jesus’ Twelve Apostles and preached the Gospel with great passion, often in the most difficult circumstances. He is believed to have been martyred for his faith while preaching to pagans in Persia.

St. Jude statue

He is often depicted with a flame above his head, representing his presence at Pentecost, a medallion with an image of Christ’s face around his neck, symbolizing his relationship with the Lord, and a staff, indicative of his role in leading people to the Truth.

He is the patron of impossible causes because the scriptural Letter of St. Jude, which he authored, urges Christians to persevere in difficult times.  Also, St. Bridget of Sweden was directed by Our Lord to turn to St. Jude with great faith and confidence. In a vision, Christ told St. Bridget, “In accordance with his surname, Thaddeus, the amiable or loving, he will show himself most willing to give help.” He is the patron of the impossible because Our Lord identified him as a saint ready and willing to assist us in our trials.

His feast day is October 28, and novenas are often prayed for his intercession.

ST. PHILOMENA

St. Philomena

St. Philomena, whose name means “Daughter of Light,” is one of the earliest known Christian martyrs. Her tomb was discovered in ancient Roman catacombs in 1802.

St. Philomena statue

Very little is known of her life on earth, except that she died a martyr for her faith at the young age of 13 or 14. Of noble birth with Christian convert parents, Philomena dedicated her virginity to Christ.  When she refused to marry the Emperor Diocletian, she was cruelly tortured in many ways for over a month. She was scourged, thrown into a river with an anchor around her neck, and shot through with arrows.  Miraculously surviving all these attempts on her life, she was finally beheaded. Despite the tortures, she did not waver in her love for Christ and her vow to Him. The miracles attributed to her intercession were so numerous that she was canonized based solely on these miracles and her death as a martyr.  She became known as “The Wonder Worker.”

She is represented by a lily for purity, a crown and arrows for martyrdom, and an anchor. The anchor, found inscribed on her tomb, one of her instruments of torture, was a popular early Christian symbol of hope.

ST. GREGORY OF THAUMATURGUS

St. Gregory Thaumaturgus

St. Gregory Neocaesarea, also known as St. Gregory Thaumaturgus (the Wonderworker) was born in Asia Minor around the year 213. Although raised as a pagan, at age 14 he was deeply influenced by a good teacher, and thus converted to Christianity with his brother. At the age of 40 he became a bishop in Caesarea, and served the Church in this role until his death 30 years later. According to ancient records, there were only 17 Christians in Caesarea when he first became a bishop. Many people were converted by his words and by his miracles which showed that the power of God was with him. When he died, there were only 17 pagans left  in all of Caesarea.

According to St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory Thaumaturgus (the Wonderworker) is comparable to Moses, the prophets, and the Twelve Apostles.  St. Gregory of Nyssa says Gregory Thaumaturgus experienced a vision of Our Lady, one of the first such recorded visions.

St. Gregory of Neocaesarea’s feast day is November 17th.

The 4 Patron Saints of Impossible Causes

These 4 saints are known especially for their prowess in interceding for impossible, hopeless, and lost causes.

God often permits trials in our lives so that we can learn to rely only on Him.  To encourage our love for His saints and to give us holy models of heroic virtue who persevered through suffering, He also permits prayers to be answered through their intercession.

If any of these 4 saints of impossible causes have been powerful intercessors for difficult circumstances in your own life, please comment below with your story.

10 Strange Legends And Images Of Saints

10 Strange Legends And Images Of Saints

Throughout the history of the Catholic Church, thousands of saints have come and gone. Many of them become patron saints because of the experiences in their own lives. These experiences are often bizarre and frequently gruesome. This list looks at ten of the more unusual cases.

10. St Dymphna

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St Dymphna’s story is truly sad, but one that parallels many popular folk legends. Dymphna was a virgin daughter of a pagan king. She secretly baptized into Christianity. After her mother died, her father became insane with grief, and declared that he would only marry another woman as beautiful as his wife. Eventually he noticed that Dymphna his own daughter, shared his wife’s beauty. He determined to marry her, but the girl fled from him in horror, accompanied by a trusted priest. They sought sanctuary elsewhere but were found by her father’s men. The priest was promptly killed, and her father once again proposed to her. She refused to marry him, and he himself struck off her head. Dymphna is depicted as a beautiful, virginal, young girl. She is often holding a holy bible and white flowers. She is the patroness of incest victims and the mentally disturbed.

9. Simon Zelotes

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Simon Zelotes (or Simon the Zealot) was one of the twelve disciples. He had previously been a violent man but was converted by Jesus. Not much is known of his life after Jesus’ death, but he is believed to have travelled widely preaching the gospel. Legend has it that he was martyred in Mesopotamia by being hung upside down and sawed to death – longitudinally. He is often depicted holding the saw that was the instrument of his martyrdom.

8. St Apollonia

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St Apollonia was an old deaconess who fell victim to the persecutions of Christians in Alexandria. As Christians fled the city, Apollonia was seized by a mob. They beat her and knocked all her teeth out. They then lit a huge fire to burn her if she did not renounce Christianity. Begging for time as though she would comply with their demands, instead she jumped into the flames herself and died without renouncing her faith. She is the patroness of dentists, and is depicted holding pincers containing her tooth or with a gold tooth on a necklace.

7. St Margaret of Antioch

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St Margaret of Antioch was a popular saint in the middle ages. Legend states that she was the daughter of a pagan priest, but decided to convert to Christianity. This angered her father as well as a suitor whose advances she rejected. They had her reported to the authorities as a Christian, and she was jailed. In jail she met the devil in the form of a dragon, who proceeded to swallow her whole. The cross she carried however, irritated the dragon’s belly and she was able to tear her way out using the cross and emerge whole from the dragon. Several attempts were then made to execute her by drowning and fire, all of which failed, leading many who witnessed her tortures to be converted. She was finally beheaded. She is often depicted emerging from the dragon’s belly, cross in hand. Appropriately, she is the patroness of childbirth.

6. Saint Bartholomew

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Saint Bartholomew is one of the Apostles of Christ. After Christ’s death he travelled the world as far as India, evangelizing and preaching the gospel. He fell afoul with the pagans in Armenia where he was martyred. Legend states that he was flayed alive (removing the skin from the body while keeping it as intact as possible), and then crucified upside down on a cross. He is the saint invoked by those who deal with skins and leather. He is depicted in art as a man holding his flayed skin.

5. St Christopher

Saint Christopher Cynocephalus

St Christopher belonged to a tribe in North Africa known as the Marmaritae. That area of the world was then largely unknown and considered inhabited by all sorts of strange creatures, including dog-headed men. Some conflicting legends surround Christopher. In one he is a dog-head captured by the Romans and forced to serve them. He becomes a Christian convert and thus a unique figure amongst his kind. Another legend has St Christopher carrying an infant across a river, only to find him growing unbelievably heavy as they progress. The child then reveals himself to be the Christ child and his heaviness due to the weight of the world on his shoulders. Still other legends exist about St Christopher actually being granted the face of a dog by God, to ward off unwanted female attention. He is often depicted as a richly robed dog-headed man – a cynocephalus.

4. St Roch

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St Roch was born of nobility but soon renounced his life of wealth and privilege to work amongst plague victims. He travelled the country effecting many healings of plague victims. When he too contracted the plague, he retreated to a secret hut in the woods. He was there befriended by a dog, who brought him sustenance and licked the sores on his leg until he was healed. When he eventually returned to civilization, many who had previously known him were dead. He was imprisoned, and with his dog continued to minister to suffering prisoners until his death. He is the patron saint of dogs and is invoked against diseased body parts. He is depicted lifting one hem of his robe to reveal his leg sores, while his faithful dog licks them.

3. St Agatha of Sicily

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As a beautiful woman St Agatha attracted the attentions of a powerful judge named Quintianus. When she refused his advances he had her sent to a brothel. She prayed and after 30 days remained still untouched. Quintianus then ordered that she be chained, whipped, stretched on a rack and burnt. During these tortures her breasts were cut off. Legend states that St Peter miraculously healed her wound that night. The enraged Quintianus then had her rolled on hot coals and glass until she finally expired. She is the patron saint of breast cancer sufferers. She is depicted carrying her breasts on a plate. On her saint day ( 5 February) in Sicily, little marzipan confections resembling breasts are still eaten today.

2. St Denis

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St Denis had an exceptional youth, testifying and converting pagans to Christianity. He eventually became bishop of Paris. His many conversions however, ultimately enraged the pagan priests, who decided to execute him by beheading. Legend states that after his head was chopped off, he picked it up and walked several miles with it tucked under his arm, preaching all the way. He is represented as a headless body holding its decapitated head in its hands.

1. St Lucy

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St Lucy as a young girl decided to devote her life to Christ and refused to marry the groom selected by her mother. Though her mother eventually accepted her decision, her jilted suitor was not so generous, and reported her as a Christian to the authorities. Trying unsuccessfully to force her into prostitution, the soldiers found her body strangely heavy and immovable. Thus as punishment, she was tortured by having her eyes gouged out, and then killed. Legend states that God restored her sight before she died. She is represented in iconography as a young martyr holding her eyes on a plate, and is the patron saint of eye problems and blindness.



Saint of the Day for Monday, May 6th, 2019-Patron Saint for Choirboy

Saint of the Day for Monday, May 6th, 2019-Patron Saint for Choirboy

St. Dominic Savio

Image of St. Dominic Savio

Facts

Feast day: May 6
Patron of choirboys, the falsely accused, and juvenile delinquents 
Birth: April 2, 1842
Death: March 9, 1857
Beatified By: March 5, 1950 by Pope Pius XII 
Canonized By: June 12, 1954 by Pope Pius XII

Dominic Savio was born on April 2, 1842 in the village of Riva in northern Italy. His father was a blacksmith and his mother a seamstress. He had nine brothers and sisters. His family was poor but hardworking. They were devout and pious Catholics.

When he was just two years old, Dominic’s family returned to their native village of Castlenuovo d’Asti, (Today, Castlenuovo Don Bosco) near the birthplace of John Bosco. Bosco would himself later be canonized as a Saint by the Church and became a major influence on the life of Dominic.

As a small child, Dominic loved the Lord and His Church. He was very devout in practicing his Catholic faith. For example, he said grace before every meal and refused to eat with those who did not. He was always quick to encourage others to pray.

Dominic attended Church regularly with his mother and was often seen kneeling before the Tabernacle in prayer. He even prayed outside the Church building. It did not matter to Dominic if the ground was covered with mud or snow, he knelt and prayed anyway.

Dominic was quickly recognized as an exceptional student who studied hard and performed well in school. He became an altar server. He also attended daily Mass and went to confession regularly. He asked to receive his first communion at the age of seven. This was not the practice in the Church of Italy at the time. Normally, children received their first holy communion at the age of twelve. Dominic’s priest was so impressed with his intelligence concerning the faith, his love for the Lord and his piety that he made an exception. Dominic said that the day of his First Communion was the happiest day of his life.

On the Day he received his first communion, Dominic wrote four promises in a little book. Those promises were:

I will go to Confession often, and as frequently to Holy Communion as my confessor allows.
I wish to sanctify the Sundays and festivals in a special manner.
My friends shall be Jesus and Mary.
Death rather than sin.

The young Dominic graduated to secondary school and walked three miles to school each day. He undertook this chore gladly. While walking to school on a hot day a farmer asked why he wasn’t yet tired. Dominic cheerfully replied, “Nothing seems tiresome or painful when you are working for a master who pays well.”

Although he was young, Dominic was clearly different than his peers. When two boys stuffed a school heating stove with snow and rubbish. The boys were known troublemakers and were likely to face expulsion if caught, so they blamed Dominic for the misdeed. Dominic did not deny the accusation and he was scolded before the class. However, a day later the teacher learned the truth. He asked Dominic why he did not defend himself while being scolded for something he did not do. Dominic mentioned he was imitating Jesus who remained silent when unjustly accused.

Dominic’s teacher spoke well of him and brought him to the attention of Fr. John Bosco, who was renowned for looking after hundreds of boys, many of them orphaned and poor. In October 1854, Dominic was personally introduced to Fr. Bosco – along with his father.

At the meeting, Bosco wanted to test Dominic’s intelligence and understanding of the Catholic faith. He gave Dominic a copy of The Catholic Readings, which was a pamphlet that dealt with apologetics. He expected Dominic to provide a report the next day, but just ten minutes later Dominic recited the text and provided a full explanation of its significance. This solidified Bosco’s high opinion of Dominic.

Dominic expressed an interest in becoming a priest and asked to go to Turin to attend the Oratory of St. Francis de Sales. Fr. Bosco agreed to take him.

At the Oratory, Dominic studied directly under Fr. Bosco. He worked diligently and always asked questions when he did not understand something. He renewed his First Communion promises that he wrote in his little book at the age of seven. After six months at the Oratory, Dominic delivered a speech on the path to sainthood. In his speech, he made three outstanding points; it is God’s will that we ALL become saints, it is easy to become a saint, and there are great rewards in heaven for saints.

Dominic’s desire to become a saint troubled him however. He wondered to himself how someone as young as he was could become a saint? In his zeal, he tried voluntary mortification and other voluntary penances, hoping that they would help him to grow closer to Jesus and help him to be less concerned with his own needs. He even made his bed uncomfortable and wore thin clothes in winter. When Fr. Bosco observed these practices, he corrected Dominic. He explained that as a child, what he should do instead was to devote himself to his studies and to be cheerful. He discouraged Dominic from any more physical penances. Dominic’s happy demeanor quickly returned.

At the same time Dominic was developing his reputation as a fantastic student, his health began to fail. He started to lose his appetite and Fr. Bosco became concerned. Dominic was taken to the doctor who recommended that he be sent home to his family to recover. Dominic wanted to stay at the oratory, but Fr. Bosco insisted he go home. Everybody expected Dominic to recover, except for Dominic himself who insisted he was dying.

Before he departed, Dominic made the Exercise of a Happy Death and predicted this would be his final devotion.

After four days at home, Dominic’s health worsened. The doctor ordered him to bed to rest. He then performed bloodletting, which was still performed at that time. Over the next four days, Dominic was bled ten times before the doctor was satisfied he would recover.

But Dominic was sure of his impending death. He implored his parents to bring the parish priest so he could make a last confession. They obliged him and Dominic made a confession and was given the Anointing of the Sick. He asked his father to read him the prayers for the Exercise of a Happy Death. Then he fell asleep. Hours later he awoke and said to his father: “Goodbye, Dad, goodbye … Oh what wonderful things I see!” Dominic fell asleep and died within minutes. It was March 9, 1857 and Dominic was merely 14 year of age.

His father wrote to Fr. Bocso to report the sad news.

Fr. Bosco was powerfully touched by Dominic and he wrote a biography, “The Life of Dominic Savio.” The biography quickly became popular and would eventually be read in schools across Italy. As people learned about Dominic, they called for his canonization.

Detractors argued that Dominic was too young to be canonized and pointed out that he was not a martyr. However, Pope Pius X disagreed and opened his cause for canonization.

Dominic Savio was declared venerable in 1933 by Pope Pius XI, beatified in 1950, then canonized in 1954 by Pope Pius XII.

Saint Dominic is the patron saint of choirboys, the falsely accused, and juvenile delinquents. His feast day is May 6, moved from March 9. Many schools and institutions dedicated to boys are dedicated to him.

10 People Who Claim to Have The Stigmata

10 People Who Claim to Have The Stigmata

1. Stigmatic Priest Claims to have Divine Powers of Levitation, Prophecy, and Bilocation

His stigmata initially appearing at a friendly get together, 31-year-old Croatian priest Zlatco Sudac’s wounds have been declared by the Vatican to be “not of human origin.” The first wound, an indentation approximately an inch long, appeared on his forehead in 1999. A year later, markings appeared on his hands, feet, and side. He describes the stigmata as filling him with “a tremendous fear of the Lord.” Sudac says that the wounds cause him no pain except when he is praying, at which time he feels them pulsing.

Along with the stigmatization, Sudac claims to have received the divine gifts of levitation, prophecy, and bilocation-–the ability to be in two places at one time

2. Young Man Receives the Stigmata While Walking Home from the Grocery Store

In 1996, Emiliano Aden received the stigmata at the age of 19 while walking home with his girlfriend from his supermarket job in Argentina. He felt as though his forehead was being pierced, but there was nothing visible there.

After emergency room hospitalization, Aden was told that he had a migraine and was sent home. Once there, he started bleeding from his forehead and collapsed. All efforts to stop the bleeding failed and his mother, at a loss for what to do next, notified the local clergy. They jumped to the conclusion that he caused the wounds himself and regarded his case as blasphemy.

Although Aden’s wounds are not recognized by the church as being of divine origin, he is convinced that they are. Aden continues to bleed from his wrists, forehead, and an undisclosed deep wound, spending his days in a combination of prayer, pain, and ecstasy.

3. Doctors Find No Medical Reason for a Paralyzed Woman’s Stigmata

When witnesses at the Cheshire Home in England confirmed that they had seen fresh blood on Ethel Chapman’s hands on Good Friday, they concluded that she was unable to inflict the wounds herself. Afflicted by multiple sclerosis, Chapman was paralyzed from the waist down. She was unable to hold things in her hands, nor was she found to have suffered from any kind of depression, neurosis, or psychosis.

Ethel explained her mystical visions in an interview with the BBC in 1973. ‘‘I remember saying quite plainly ‘Oh Lord, please show me in some way you’re there.’ I felt myself being drawn on to the Cross. I felt the pain of the nails through my hands and through my feet… I felt myself all the agony and all the pain that the Lord Himself went through.” 

Chapman also claimed that she had levitated and smelled sweet perfumes. She regarded her experiences as a form of divine love due to her illness. As word spread about her stigmata, Chapman spent the rest of her life devoting prayers to those who asked her for help or healing.

4. Illiterate Woman Bleeds Christian Writings and Symbols in Different Languages

Natuzza Evolo never learned to read or write. Instead, she was left to care for her younger siblings after her father deserted the family, making it impossible for her to go to school. It is odd then that Natuzza’s stigmata would take the form of hemography–the process by which blood from the stigmata is miraculously formed into Christian writing, images or symbols on bandages and other types of cloth–and that many of the words were in Hebrew or Aramaic.

For decades, devote Catholics from all over Italy would seek out Natuzza for advice and prayers, and many spoke of being miraculously healed by her or receiving other graces. When she died in 2009, thousands came to pay their respects. The cause for her beatification is expected to start very soon.S

5. Stigmatic Woman Took No Food or Water for Almost 40 Years

Once a strong, healthy woman, Therese Neumann was partially paralyzed and left in great pain after a fall from a stool while attending a fire in her uncle’s barn. From then on, Therese forced herself to be active as much as her limitations would permit her, but her efforts resulted in more accidents and injuries, and by 1919 Therese was not only bedridden but totally blind.

Unable to move and ridden with bedsores that exposed bone, Therese turned to God. On the day of the beatification ceremonies for the Carmelite nun Therese of Lisieux, Therese Nuemann found that her sight was completely restored. Two years later, as Therese of Lisieux was canonized, she was visited by an apparition of the saint that told her she would walk again.

In 1926, she first received the stigmata, but refused to tell anyone out of fear. Over the next several days the wounds worsened, and while the accompanying visions of the last days of Christ left Therese in a state of divine ecstasy, she was also at death’s door. After last rites were given, she miraculously returned to a normal state and from then on, the stigmata would appear on Therese every week for two days. She was told in a vision to abstain from food and drink, and from 1926 to her death in 1962, Therese took no nourishment with the exception of the Holy Eucharist. The process for the beatification and canonization for Therese Neumann was officially opened in 2005.

6. Stigmatic Priest Loses One Cup of Blood Daily

Perhaps the most well known of stigmatics, Padre Pio had visions from the age of five and from an early age dedicated his life to the Lord. He became a Franciscan in 1903, and a few years later he became a fully ordained priest.

In 1918, Padre Pio had a vision in which he saw himself pierced with a lance. The lance wound remained with him, and a month later he was also bleeding from the palms of his hands and feet. Pio was stigmatic for approximately 50 years. He lost about a cup of blood daily, but the wounds never closed or became infected; instead of the smell of blood, the wounds always emitted a sweet odor.

Over the years, it has been rumored that Padre Pio caused the wounds himself with carbolic acid, as evidenced by his request for the liquid in a document found in the Vatican’s archive. This document has since been dismissed by the Catholic church during Padre Pio’s beatification process, and in 2002 Padre Pio was declared a saint by Pope John Paul II

7. Weathly Young Man Turns to God and Becomes the First Stigmatic in Recorded History

St. Frances of Assisi is the first recorded stigmatic in Christian history. A wealthy and wild young man who was not necessarily pious, Francis devoted his life to God after a couple of brushes with death. In 1224, Francis went to a mountain retreat to celebrate the Assumption and fast for 40 days. It was there that he had his first vision. Shortly after that, the stigmata appeared.

Francis took great pains to hide the wounds. Suffering greatly, he sought out care for them in several cities but nothing could be done. Within two years of first receiving them he died. He spent the last days of his life dictating his spiritual testament and in 1228, Francis was put on the fast track to sainthood by Pope Gregory IX.

8. Stigmatic Suffers All The Wounds of Christ at Once, Including a Crown of Thorns

Marie Rose Ferron is one of 30 stigmatics in existence that bore all the wounds of Christ at once. Deeply pious, her earliest visions were recorded at the age of six in which she was witness to Christ’s Crucifixion. “He was looking at me with sadness in His eyes,” she once said.

When she was in her teens, Rose was stricken with a mysterious paralysis that worsened over time until she was completely bedridden. She also suffered severe digestive problems which made it difficult to digest solid foods. In 1927, whip-like wounds appeared on her arms on a weekly basis.

Soon, Rose also suffered the “Five Holy Wounds” to her hands, feet, and side. She also had the outline of a crown of thorns upon her head. The stigmata never went away and Rose was in perpetual agony. It is said that due to her digestive problems, she only took liquids and sustained herself on the Holy Eucharist in the last years of her life.

Family friend Diane Marshall said, ““Seven years before Rose died, she cried out to Jesus and asked when He was going to take her home, and He said ‘in seven years.’ It was exactly seven years later when she died at age 33–the same age when Jesus died on the cross.”

9. Statues Weep in the Presence of a Stigmatic Priest

In 1991, Virginia pastor Father James Bruse was questioning his faith. That year, a statue of Our Lady of Grace wept in his presence at the home of his parents. Soon, other statues wept when Bruse was in attendance, and many thousands saw it.

The day after Christmas that year, Bruse began to complain of sharp pains and wounds began to appear on his wrists, feet, and right side. Meanwhile, statues not only wept but changed color. There was talk of a young girl’s eyesight being restored after Bruse blessed her. People for whom he prayed reported medical miracles.

Bruce’s stigmata disappeared as mysteriously as it came. His wounds healed completely by 1994 and he hasn’t seen a weeping statue since 1992. Today, he says that his parishioners come “not to see a miracle but to be blessed. They’re not coming for a show.”

10. California Housewife and Stigmatic Labeled as a “Servant of God” by The Vatican 56 Years After Her Death

California housewife Cora Evans first received the stigmata in 1947. She said of the event: “…I suddenly felt the infinite devotion of God for His creatures with my soul and suddenly I felt the pain and saw the terrible wound in the hand of Jesus. The wound in my right hand is beginning to appear.”

Claiming divine visions since the age of three, Cora wrote about her visitations with Jesus–who she dubbed “The Master”–which occurred when she fell into a trance-like state. During one such episode, she reported that Jesus gave her the option to “come ‘home’ with Him for all eternity, or accept additional suffering for the good of the world.” Cora chose the latter. Soon, the stigmata was in both palms and a crown of thorns appeared on her head. It was reported that the wounds gave off the sweet smell of roses.

56 years after her death, the church has taken Cora Evans’ claims seriously enough to put her on the road to sainthood. The church has declared Cora Evans a “Servant of God”–the first step of four to becoming California’s first Catholic sain