Was my nephew blessed by a stigmatic?


#1

My brother was on an airplane recently and there was a priest sitting in front of him who was wearing cut-off gloves like Padre Pio used to wear. He asked my sister-in-law if she would like a blessing for their child since he is having medical problems. She said she would like a blessing and he gave it to the baby.

Then he turned around and said that if anyone asks them who the blessing was from to say that it was from Father Pio. Since he was wearing those gloves I was wondering if there are any priests today who have the stigmata.


#2

[quote=Gabrielle S]Then he turned around and said that if anyone asks them who the blessing was from to say that it was from Father Pio. Since he was wearing those gloves I was wondering if there are any priests today who have the stigmata.
[/quote]

While it is certainly possible that there are stigmatic priests in the Church today, I do not personally know of any. The stigmata is a rare mystical gift, and, interestingly enough, it has usually been given to women. Padre Pio is the only priest known to have been given this gift. (St. Francis of Assisi was a deacon, not a priest.)

I am deeply skeptical that the person your brother and sister-in-law met was a stigmatic. Usually, those who are given such gifts are extremely reticent about sharing the knowledge of them, much less flaunting them to strangers on an airplane. While it is theoretically possible that this man was who he claimed to be, I would not put stock into it unless you eventually find verification of his status from the Church.

A story is told of St. John of the Cross that a local bishop asked him to investigate the possibility that a woman in his diocese was receiving locutions from the Holy Spirit. John of the Cross found the woman sitting outside her house and greeted her. “Are you the lady to whom the Holy Spirit speaks?” he asked. “I am!” she replied with a smile. St. John nodded, said, “Good day to you, senora,” and reported to the bishop that the woman was a charlatan. His reasoning was that a woman graced with such a gift would not be advertising it to strangers, but only speaking of it to her confessor.

Whether this is a true account or a pious legend attached to the saint, it does offer some wisdom for dealing with people who claim to have been given spiritual gifts: Those who advertise such graces to the general public are the least likely to actually possess such gifts. Generally speaking, those who do receive such gifts discuss them confidentially with a spiritual director or a confessor; they do not flaunt them to all and sundry.


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