Stigmata/Marian Apparitions


#1

I took a peek at the “Eastern Christianity” sub-forum and saw that some of our Orthodox bretheren are saying that stigmata and Marian apparitions are demonic in origin. I am currently Protestant (investigating Catholicism) and have to admit that these phenomina give me pause. How would Catholics argue against the EO claims?


#2

I could be mistaken but didn’t Padre Pio have the Stigmata. I hardly think his life was lived under the influence of demons. Also, Marian apparitions that are worthy of belief are ones such as Fatima and Lourdes. You do not have to believe in them but I do (though my views on exactly what was said at Fatima and the three secrets is more about being better Catholics, but of course, this is just my opinion).

Yeah, I would not say they are demonic, but there are many more people who are more knowing than I. But I hope I am right!

peace,
dxu


#3

Well as far as I can tell, The Marian apperations and Stigmata (stigmatics ussaly have a lot or miricales around their name or something rather extrodenary conntected with God outside the wounds they have) seem to draw people closer to Christ (it was really big for my conversion) and I don’t think that the devil really sits around and thinks of ways to lose as many souls from coming to hell.

I hope that thought helps.


#4

[quote=arieh0310]I took a peek at the “Eastern Christianity” sub-forum and saw that some of our Orthodox bretheren are saying that stigmata and Marian apparitions are demonic in origin. I am currently Protestant (investigating Catholicism) and have to admit that these phenomina give me pause. How would Catholics argue against the EO claims?
[/quote]

To condemn all stigmata and Marian appartitions as demonic in origin seems to be telling God what He can and cannot do. Are you saying you do not believe God could allow Mary to appear to people?That miracles do not occur today?Doesn’t Scripture tell us to be more Christ-like? Wouldn’t taking on Christ’s wounds help someone to understand His suffering more and become more like Him?

I prefer the Church’s approach. **To evaluate each claim on an individual level **instead of discarding out of hand anything as demonic simply because a person is not comfortable with something. Examining each claimant, seeing if anything contradicts that which has already been revealed. The Church has found some claims to be false, some to be true, but does not bind the followers to believe likewise, and some the verdict is still out.


#5

i agree with MariaG…

i have no real idea of the validity of that stuff, it’s a matter of
individual faith… but, i think that demons would be more
inclined to do things to point away from Christ, than toward
him… if stigmata makes one person turn toward Christ, which
appearently it has in the past, then it’s definately not something
a demon would want to do… and it’s even more true of a
Marian apperation, since these tend to galvanize peoples
faith…

just my opinion…

:slight_smile:


#6

[quote=MariaG]Are you saying you do not believe God could allow Mary to appear to people?That miracles do not occur today?Doesn’t Scripture tell us to be more Christ-like? Wouldn’t taking on Christ’s wounds help someone to understand His suffering more and become more like Him?

[/quote]

I am not saying anything, just want an apologetic answer to these claims . I happen to think that Jesus would not allow Satan to impersonate this mother or Himself, though some in the EO camp don’t agree.


#7

I know that the Church has officials that are trained to deal with things like demonic possession, etc. They would probably be able to tell what are the works of demons and what are not. I was reading that one of the signs of something demonic is an aversion to holy objects, images,etc, so I don’t think the stigmata or Marian apparitions would come from demons. Also, God has used miracles to benefit the Church throughout the years. For example, there is a phenomenon known as bilocation where a person can be in two different places at the same exact time. There were numerous saints who had the ability (from God) to bilocate (one saint performed a mass and heard confessions simultaneously). Hope it helps!

Pax tecum ~
Stephen


#8

[quote=arieh0310]I am not saying anything, just want an apologetic answer to these claims . I happen to think that Jesus would not allow Satan to impersonate this mother or Himself, though some in the EO camp don’t agree.
[/quote]

The main claims of the EO on that thread are that it is a product of a strong imagination and meditation along with vanity and pride. Whether it is due to an active imagination and strong meditation is not a real problem with the faith, it shows the dedication a person has that they focus that much on Christ. To say that Padre Pio and St. Francis were vain is an ignorance of their lives. They were some of the most humble people there have been.

THey also make the claim that since St. Seraphim of Sarov(EO saint) did not recieve it, therefore it is false and not from God. This is an ignorance of God and His plan. God has a different relationship with each of His people. I could say the same thing about the vision that St. Seraphim had. I could say that his vision was a product of his overactive imagination and that since St. Francis did not recieve the same vision his vision was therefore false.


#9

Thanks, this is kinda what I am looking for. Keep in mind that I have always been Protestant and have always been warned to stay away from this stuff. So, to hear the EO (which is very close to Catholicism in it’s theology) talk this way gave me concern.


#10

Also, note that one IS NOT required to believe in any apparitions/stgmatics etc. They are, after a long and arduous process, approved as ok (not conflicting with the Faith as given to us by Jesus), or condemned usually this takes 50+ years. One is not required to believe in any of them, but for those people who find them to help strenghten their faith, the Chruch does approve those she believes are from God.


#11

[quote=arieh0310]Thanks, this is kinda what I am looking for. Keep in mind that I have always been Protestant and have always been warned to stay away from this stuff. So, to hear the EO (which is very close to Catholicism in it’s theology) talk this way gave me concern.
[/quote]

The article they linked to also contains some errors. I am pretty sure that St. Francis was canonized due to popular demand. The pope did not declare him a saint simply due to the fact that he had the stigmata.


#12

[quote=arieh0310]Thanks, this is kinda what I am looking for. Keep in mind that I have always been Protestant and have always been warned to stay away from this stuff. So, to hear the EO (which is very close to Catholicism in it’s theology) talk this way gave me concern.
[/quote]

Just a note. The EO is recognized by Catholics as a valid priesthood and apostolic succession, this respect does not appear to be given back, in my personal experience here on this board or watching the attempts of Pope John II to reconcile.

I personally stay away from the EO board because frankly, I find it more distressing to talk to them than fundamental Protestants. I expect fundamental Protestants to think I am headed for hell, I am less prepared for it, yet the basic feeling is the same from EO.

Two churches who both claim to be following Christ’s directives. Both point to Early Church Fathers. There are undercurrents of politics and power when dealing with EO.

I’ll stop there, but do not make the mistake of thinking the respect the Catholic Church shows to the Eastern Orthodox is a two way street. Pope John Paul II reached out continuely yet was rebuffed every time.

God Bless,
Maria

ps

You can do a search and see what I mean, sometimes there have been discussions on What the Catholic Church means by the words changed in the Nicene Creed (the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father and the Son, I think are the “hot button” item). EO will say it means one thing. Catholics say no, you misunderstand, we mean this. No you don’t. It becomes a more complex “you worship Mary” No we don’t kind of thing. I have trouble with a group of people telling me what my church teaches when they do not belong to my Church and my Church repeatedly tells them it is Not what they think.


#13

[quote=jimmy]The article they linked to also contains some errors. I am pretty sure that St. Francis was canonized due to popular demand. The pope did not declare him a saint simply due to the fact that he had the stigmata.
[/quote]

Popular demand may speed the process, but people are not canonized due to popular demand. There is a rigid criteria that if a person does not meet it, they are not canonized no matter how popular.


#14

In regards to the EO, I do think their (sometimes) prejudice towards Catholicism blinds them to seeing the truth. I know many EO’s who greatly admire and who would consider St. Francis to be a true saint. Other EO’s however look at the stigmata or Marian apparitions and since their source lies in Catholicism and not Orthodoxy assume that it must be from the evil one. I think that there is a lack of humility here. It isn’t everyone, but some EO’s unfortunately have a tainted view of the Church. In their protests you can hear them asking, “Can anything good come out of Catholicism?”. Another note is that perhaps some wonder why their own church has not witnessed the depth and breadth of the miraculous that Catholicism has experienced. I know that if St. Francis or the apparitions at Fatima had occured within Orthodoxy they I’m sure would be bursting with pride at such wonders so clearly sent from heaven.


#15

I took a peek at the “Eastern Christianity” sub-forum and saw that some of our Orthodox bretheren are saying that stigmata and Marian apparitions are demonic in origin. I am currently Protestant (investigating Catholicism) and have to admit that these phenomina give me pause. How would Catholics argue against the EO claims?

Well, first of all, many prayers and blessings on your journey! I am sure I am joined by many of my brothers and sisters on this thread. I would advise to stay away from the EO until you are grounded into the Faith. I was part of that discussion/deliberatio/argument. The phenomena is to give anyone pause but it is NOT an article of faith. You are not a lesser Christian Catholic for doing so. God has his ways and reasons for doing things. There are some very holy people who experience these extraordianry graces but there are more number of holy people who do not experience them.

I could be mistaken but didn’t Padre Pio have the Stigmata. I hardly think his life was lived under the influence of demons

I used Padre Pio as a perfect example and they stumbled on their own allegations. If Padre Pio was demonically deceived, then why was it that he was attacked on a regular basis the Evil One…physically especially as the nasty guy could not get him mentally or spiritually. Padre Pio was a big threat to the guy downstairs as Padre Pio brought many souls back into a life of grace due to his gifts of knowledge o a person’s soul in the Sacrament of Cofession. So, how can one be deceived by the Evil One and then be attacked by him? They accused Jesus of the same thing.

[font=Arial]then it’s definately not something
a demon would want to do…

[/font]We have to be careful here and this is why the Church is very cautious about these things. Mother Church looks at the WHOLE picture, not only the phenomena. The devil can imitate ANYTHING. Even Our Lady. This was experienced by a nun in the middle ages. The only thing the devil cannot imitate is the true peace of Christ.

I happen to think that Jesus would not allow Satan to impersonate this mother or Himself, though some in the EO camp don’t agree.

Satan can and does imitate Our Lady…or even himself in visions. This is why one must be under careful direction with a holy spiritual director. In this, the EO is right. What they are claiming is that all of this is demonic…well, most anyway.

I know that the Church has officials that are trained to deal with things like demonic possession, etc. I was reading that one of the signs of something demonic is an aversion to holy objects, images,etc, so I don’t think the stigmata or Marian apparitions would come from demons.

False Marian apparitions or stigmata does not necessarily correlate to demonic possession. These are two different situations. You are right that the devil is averse to anything holy but in the same token that that doesn’t stop him from impersonating anything holy to lead souls astray. The devil is very wiley. One person experiencing demonic possession (whic is rare) will react violently to blessed objects but will not necessarily see false visions.

The pope did not declare him a saint simply due to the fact that he had the stigmata

Extraordinary phenomena is only a small part of claiming one a saint. They look and investigate at the life of said person, the fruits, whether they were orthodox in following the Faith over what they perceive to be the truth, etc

[font=Arial]Another note is that perhaps some wonder why their own church has not witnessed the depth and breadth of the miraculous that Catholicism has experienced.[/font]

[font=Arial][/font]
Their statement causes one to think also. It is just too bad that some are smug in their expression and are considered ‘heretics’ when most desire a unification of both East/West.


#16

[quote=MariaG]Popular demand may speed the process, but people are not canonized due to popular demand. There is a rigid criteria that if a person does not meet it, they are not canonized no matter how popular.
[/quote]

Not all saints went through the rigid process. Many of the early Christians were cqanonized simply by popular demand. I was wrong on this one though, there was an actual canonization for Francis.


#17

[quote=jimmy]Not all saints went through the rigid process. Many of the early Christians were cqanonized simply by popular demand. I was wrong on this one though, there was an actual canonization for Francis.
[/quote]


Were these early christians martyred?


#18

From The “old” Catholic Encyclopedia: Remember
Magdalen of the Cross - false “visionary”, false stigmatic”

"The mystical experiences of the great St Teresa of Avila herself were the subject of much suspicion and outright hostility on the part of many learned and holy theologians of the time, not necessarily to the concept of private revelations, or to the charismata as manifested in certain individuals, rather, at least in part, because of the fact that many members of the ‘theological establishment’ in Spain and throughout Europe had only recently been deceived by a false mystic, the notorious Magdalen of the Cross:…Magdalen of the Cross…at the beginning of the century of St Teresa of Avila, fooled almost the whole of Spain…on certain days she had either the stigmata or sweats of blood, and she announced the defeat and imprisonment of Francis I by the Spanish army at Pavia… Hence, the tide of enthusiasm of which he was the cause. Common people, parish priests, emperors, many venerated her, and consulted with her. However, an apostolic visitor from Rome was shocked by some detains he saw in her convent. He spoke to each of the sisters and, especially with the Mother Abbess, Magdalen of the Cross, who eventually confessed that, while a young shepherdess, she had sold her soul to the devil in return for his giving her the power of performing prodigies. Thus she deceived everybody for thirty years. (2) The footnote is from "Rev. Ludovic-Marie Barrielle, C.P. C.R. V., Rules for the Discerning of Spirits in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, Angelus Press, Kansas City, MO. 1992.“
Extract from “Medjugorje, The Facts and Logic”, by Brian Hughes”

Further information may be gleaned from Volume 1 ~ the collected works of St Teresa of Avila, translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D., and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D., Institute of Carmelite Studies, Washington, D.C., 1976: "Another visionary, Magdalena de la Cruz, a Poor Clare with a reputation for holiness, severe fasts, and long vigils, also bearing the stigmata, let it be known that she no longer required any food except the consecrated Host in daily Communion. In an investigation by the Inquisition she confessed to being a secret devil worshipper. Inspired by two incubuses with whom she had made a pact, she became very skillful at all sorts of legerdemain, Through her success in fooling both bishops and kings, she brought the fear of being deceived to all of Spain."
From the Introduction to the above book, by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D., p.8

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says this of “private revelation”

"67 Throughout the ages, there have been so-called ‘private’ revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ’s definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium, knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church.

"Christian faith cannot accept ‘revelations’ that claim to surpass or correct the Revelation of which Christ is the fulfillment, as is the case in certain non-Christian religions, and also in certain recent sects which base themselves on such ‘revelations.’ " (Emphasis added.)

Another source:

*Satanic Mimicry

Fr. Groeschel cites the case of the Franciscan nun, Magdalena of the Cross, who had been “three times abbess of her monastery at the beginning of the sixteenth century. Complete with self-inflicted stigmata and the ability to levitate above the earth, with ecstasies and the gift of prophesy, she even convinced others that she had lived without food. She enjoyed a reputation for extraordinary holiness for several decades. Bishops, clergy, great nobles, and even inquisitors flocked to her. She succeeded in deluding a large number of Spanish theologians who prided themselves on not being easily taken in. However, in danger of death, she confessed that the whole thing was a fabrication and that in fact she inflicted the stigmata on herself. By her own admission she had sold her soul to Satan in return for all of these deceptive gifts, and she actually had to be subjected to exorcism” (A Still Small Voice, pp. 45-46). Rallying from her illness, the nun attempted to stage a “come-back,” and spent her remaining years in the care of the Inquisition.


#19

[quote=Sean O L]From The “old” Catholic Encyclopedia: Remember
Magdalen of the Cross - false “visionary”, false stigmatic”

"The mystical experiences of the great St Teresa of Avila herself were the subject of much suspicion and outright hostility on the part of many learned and holy theologians of the time, not necessarily to the concept of private revelations, or to the charismata as manifested in certain individuals, rather, at least in part, because of the fact that many members of the ‘theological establishment’ in Spain and throughout Europe had only recently been deceived by a false mystic, the notorious Magdalen of the Cross:…Magdalen of the Cross…at the beginning of the century of St Teresa of Avila, fooled almost the whole of Spain…on certain days she had either the stigmata or sweats of blood, and she announced the defeat and imprisonment of Francis I by the Spanish army at Pavia… Hence, the tide of enthusiasm of which he was the cause. Common people, parish priests, emperors, many venerated her, and consulted with her. However, an apostolic visitor from Rome was shocked by some detains he saw in her convent. He spoke to each of the sisters and, especially with the Mother Abbess, Magdalen of the Cross, who eventually confessed that, while a young shepherdess, she had sold her soul to the devil in return for his giving her the power of performing prodigies. Thus she deceived everybody for thirty years. (2) The footnote is from "Rev. Ludovic-Marie Barrielle, C.P. C.R. V., Rules for the Discerning of Spirits in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, Angelus Press, Kansas City, MO. 1992.“
Extract from “Medjugorje, The Facts and Logic”, by Brian Hughes”

Further information may be gleaned from Volume 1 ~ the collected works of St Teresa of Avila, translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D., and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D., Institute of Carmelite Studies, Washington, D.C., 1976: "Another visionary, Magdalena de la Cruz, a Poor Clare with a reputation for holiness, severe fasts, and long vigils, also bearing the stigmata, let it be known that she no longer required any food except the consecrated Host in daily Communion. In an investigation by the Inquisition she confessed to being a secret devil worshipper. Inspired by two incubuses with whom she had made a pact, she became very skillful at all sorts of legerdemain, Through her success in fooling both bishops and kings, she brought the fear of being deceived to all of Spain."
From the Introduction to the above book, by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D., p.8

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says this of “private revelation”

"67 Throughout the ages, there have been so-called ‘private’ revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ’s definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium, knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church.

"Christian faith cannot accept ‘revelations’ that claim to surpass or correct the Revelation of which Christ is the fulfillment, as is the case in certain non-Christian religions, and also in certain recent sects which base themselves on such ‘revelations.’ " (Emphasis added.)

Another source:

*Satanic Mimicry

Fr. Groeschel cites the case of the Franciscan nun, Magdalena of the Cross, who had been “three times abbess of her monastery at the beginning of the sixteenth century. Complete with self-inflicted stigmata and the ability to levitate above the earth, with ecstasies and the gift of prophesy, she even convinced others that she had lived without food. She enjoyed a reputation for extraordinary holiness for several decades. Bishops, clergy, great nobles, and even inquisitors flocked to her. She succeeded in deluding a large number of Spanish theologians who prided themselves on not being easily taken in. However, in danger of death, she confessed that the whole thing was a fabrication and that in fact she inflicted the stigmata on herself. By her own admission she had sold her soul to Satan in return for all of these deceptive gifts, and she actually had to be subjected to exorcism” (A Still Small Voice, pp. 45-46). Rallying from her illness, the nun attempted to stage a “come-back,” and spent her remaining years in the care of the Inquisition.
[/quote]


Thank you…this totally confirms what I have said…


#20

[quote=Shoshana]I

I happen to think that Jesus would not allow Satan to impersonate this mother or Himself, though some in the EO camp don’t agree.

Satan can and does imitate Our Lady…or even himself in visions. This is why one must be under careful direction with a holy spiritual director. In this, the EO is right. What they are claiming is that all of this is demonic…well, most anyway.

[/quote]


My bad: Satan can and does imitate Our Lady and/or Jesus…


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