Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Stigmata: Therese Neumann

The Stigmata
Therese Neumann

Born in the village of Konnersreuth, Bavaria, Germany, Therese Neumann was a Catholic Mystic who led an extraordinary life, with claims to have no eaten from 1922, and not drank water from 1926, other then the Holy Eucharist, until her death in 1962

In 1918, Therese was at her Uncles farm when the barn caught fire, trying to help extinguish the flames, she fell and became partially blind, this led to her having many more falls in the period after, due to her lack of sight, these falls would eventually blind her completely.
She became bedridden, and developed terrible bed sores that would often expose her bones they were that severe.
On the day Therese of Lisieux was beatified in Rome, in 1923, Therese Neumann had been praying her Novennas, and was cured of her blindness, then, two years later, on May 17th 1925, Therese of Lisieux was fully canonised and became recognised as a Saint. Therese Neumann said that the new Saint called upon her, and cured her of her illness and sores, and she was free to leave her bed.
This did not last too long though as later that year Therese suffered appendicitis, doctors came for her and prepared her for surgery. Therese began to convulse as the Doctors prepared her, she looked at the ceiling, staring, she said aloud “Yes!”, then asked her familty to take her to Church and pray. Once they had done so, she stood before then and anounced her appendicitus was fully cured.
On March 5th, 1926, Therese would show the first sings of the Stigmata, on the first Friday of Lent a wound appeared above her heart (which she kept secret) and she spoke of a vision of Jesus at Mount Olivet with three Apostles.
A few days later on the 12th of March, Therese had another vision of Christ at Mt Olivet, with a crown of Thorns . Another week later, her wound appeared again, and she saw another vision, this time Jesus bearing his cross, and bloodied wound on his hand, a similar wound appeared on her hand, which she could not hide, so Therese decided to speak to her Sister about it.

On good Friday, Therese claims, in a vision, she saw the entire Passion of Christ in a vision. Her wounds were now full stigmata, with the wound in her side, and her feet and hands, but also blood began to pour from her eyes.

Her bleeding became so bad at one point that her local Priest, Father Josef Naber read her the Last Rites, but 4pm the same day, her condition had drastically improved.
On Easter Sunday, again Therese had a vision of Christ, this time the Lords Resurrection, for several Fridays following Therese suffered the Passions of Christ and all the pain and suffering that went with it. Her worst days of suffering and bleeding were always Good Friday from that point on.
Therese also suffered nine wounds on her head as well as wounds on her back and shoulders, sources say the wounds would never heal, but never become infected, and indeed they were documented by coroners upon her death

Another interesting fact about Therese, is during the reign of the Third Reich, the Nazi's started a defamation and ridicule policy aimed at her, defaming her wherever they could, because they feared her dissenting views and her growing popularity amongst Catholics in Germany, The Gestapo was ordered to watch goings on.
In 1929, a medium named Reinhard Lorenz claimed to have received a direct message about Therese, from Almighty God himself. The message was published in a periodical in Germany known as “Das Wort”.
In the message God is to have stated that the phenomenon associated with Therese Nuemann cannot be argued away by Science, that it cannot be explained away, that every man should look into his heart for understanding and this will create various useful thoughts to understand the sings of the times.
In September 1962 Therese Neumann died from cardiac arrest.
To this day the Roman Catholic Church have neither approved nor denied the Stigmata, and the Inedia suffered by Therese.
A cult did form however, and 40, 000 people signed a petition asking for her beatification. In 2005, The Bishop of Regensburg formally began proceedings for her beatification.
Therese Neumann died from cardiac arrest, after having suffered from Angina pectoris for some time.
The Roman Catholic Church has neither confirmed nor denied the inedia (from which she suffered according to her critics), nor her stigmata. The "Resl", as she is colloquially known, nonetheless attained a place in popular piety — a petition asking for her beatification was signed by 40,000 people. In 2005, Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Bishop of Regensburg, formally opened the Vatican proceedings for her beatification.

© 2013 Allen Tiller

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