This is sores, marks or places of pain on the body that correspond to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus. There is much debate about this subject while some consider it to be miraculous others consider it just a hoax, where people are either faking the injuries or injuring themselves. Stigmata are mainly associated with Roman Catholics and the majority of reports come from females. Stigmata can happen at different times for different people while some have continual episodes, other may only have at certain times of the year such as on a holy day. The first male case to be accepted by the church was in 1224 and was that of Saint Francis of Assisi of Italy. The first record of a woman was Blessed Christina von Stommeln in the Medieval Codex Luliacensis (1320 – 1350).
One of the more well known cases was that of Pio of Pietrelcina. Born Francesco Forgione in 1887, he later became known as Padre Pio, he was an Italian Roman Catholic Capuchin priest. His stigmata lasted for 50 years and as well as his own ongoing illness; he would also suffer pain from this as well. It first appeared in 1910 after he had a vision of Jesus and Mary, as he was praying in the Piana Romana. For a short while at his request it went. The 5 visible stigmata marks appeared in 1918 after the wounded Jesus appeared to him in the choir loft while he was at the Church of Our Lady Grace. These would continually remain with him. By early 1919 the news had begun to spread. Even though he was examined he did have any interest in what others thought as he had accepted the stigmata as a gift from God. He died in 1968.