There have been about 500 reported cases of stigmata, but you are aware that pretty much every stigmatic has been unique in one way or another, right? So should we not believe in stigmatics because this person’s manifestation of stigmata doesn’t match that person’s stigmata?
- St. Francis never bled from his hands and feet; only his side. He was the only stigmatic to have nails appear in his wounds, but they were nails made of his flesh.
- Juana of the Cross’ wounds gave forth the smell of perfume
- St. Christina of Stommeln had wounds in her hand, feet, forehead, and side. They bled ever Easter.
- Maria Domenica Lazzeri would receive the stigmata every Thursday evening to Friday afternoon, but would recover completely by Friday evening.
- Catherine of Siena had hers, but prayed that they become invisible. They later became visible once again upon her deathbed.
- Rita of Cascia had a forehead wound. People would sometimes observe a light coming from it.
- Bl. Osanna of Mantua received her stigmata, but they were very faint during her life. They became very distinct after her death.
- Padre Pio’s stigmata disappeared without a scar in the last few days of his death.
- Teresa of Avila had a transverberation, which is a stigmata of the heart, like a puncture.
- St. Catherine d’Ricci had the stigmata all the time, but relived the Passion every Thursday/Friday.
- Ven. Catherine Anne Emmerich had an external wound over her heart, and an internal 3-inch wound upon her heart in the shape of a cross.
- Marie-Rose Ferron had stigmata, including the shoulder stigmata, which manifested as a red blotch, whereas the others were more like scars.
- Therese Neumann had 45 distinguishable marks from the Passion, and suffered the Passion an estimated 750 times during her life.
- Passitea of Siena had the usual stigmata, and then received an invisible heart stigmata. She said that her heart had been removed during the course of this mystical union. 23 years later, after her death, her critical bishop asked for an autopsy. Her heart had the outer wall, but the inner bits were only a bit of dried muscle.
So, if you sort of look at it from the perspective that we’re dealing with spiritual truths, which is much bigger/far less limited than mere medical truth, or scientific truth, or historic truth. The whole point of the Shroud, and of Stigmatics in general, are to call to mind the Passion and Suffering of Jesus, in order to save souls. Few of us have the spiritual chops to deal with what a genuine mystic experiences. If you’re looking at the Shroud, and mentally comparing it to stigmatics A, B, and C, and deciding that none of the four match, so they all must be fake… Or even that, “Hey, medical truth sez blood doesn’t smell like flowers, so this stigmatic is obviously a fake” or “Hey, scientific truth sez he should bleed to death, and he hasn’t, so he’s fake, too”… it’s missing the point.
And for what it’s worth, I looked up the word “wrist” in my Cassell’s. It says “prima palmae pars (Cels.)”. Presumably, that’s an attribution to the 2nd. c. author, Celsus (Kelsos/Κέλσος), who was famous for Origen’s rebuttal to his work, in “Contra Celsum”. I’ve read that during the time the Gospels were composed (1st c., around 70-80-90) that they didn’t actually have a word for “wrist” in Latin/Greek/Hebrew/Aramaic. The word “hand” (“manus”) covered pretty much everything that a cubit measured-- from the forefinger to the elbow. (They did have a distinction between fingers and thumbs, though.) The Latin “carpus” comes from the Greek “karpos”, which seems to usually mean “fruit” during our period, but may possibly have come from the Indo-European base “kwerp-” which means “to turn”. But according to the etymology I’m reading, you don’t get “carpus” as “wrist” until the 17th century. So it took about 1500 years between Celsus identifying the wrist as “prima palmae pars” and modern anatomists to say, “Hey, let’s call this a carpus.” I don’t have sufficient Greek to sift through the fruit vs. wrist meanings of καρπός, but someone with better linguistics than I have can probably find the first cited usage of καρπός in an anatomical sense. But the second point is, I’m 99.9% sure you’re reading your Bible in translation, and first-century authors didn’t really have the same nuance of vocabulary that you and I have with 21st-c. English…
tl;dr: #1: Spiritual truth. #2: Etymology.