Historical cases of stigmata

There have been many cases of stigmata during the centuries. The following events are sorted by chronological order.

The next are just a few of an estimated 320 authentic worldwide accounts of stigmata.

Thirteenth century cases of stigmata

The first mentioned of the cases of stigmata is the case of St. Francis of Assisi. In whom the stigmata were of a character never seen subsequently. In the wounds of feet and hands were excrescences of flesh representing nails. Those on one side having round back heads. Additionally, those on the other having rather long points, which bent back and grasped the skin. The saint’s humility could not prevent a great many of his brethren beholding with their own eyes the existence of these wonderful wounds during his lifetime as well as after his death.

1384 – 1670

These are some of the people who have encountered this strange phenomenon.

  • St. Frances of Rome (1384-1440)
  • St. Colette (1380-1447)
  • St. Rita of Cassia (1386-1456)
  • Osanna of Mantua (1499-1505)
  • St. Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510)
  • Bl. Baptista Varani (1458-1524)
  • Bl. Lucy of Narni (1476-1547)
  • Bl. Catherine of Racconigi (1486-1547)
  • St. John of God (1495-1550)
  • St. Catherine de’ Ricci (1522-89)
  • Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi(1566-1607)
  • Marie de l’Incarnation (1566-1618)
  • Mary Anne of Jesus (1557-1620)
  • Carlo of Sezze (d. 1670)


The 20th century English stigmatic Dorothy Kerin spent a fortnight, in the words of one witness, “lain like a log of wood… and blind and deaf”, and was expected to die, before staging a remarkable recovery. In 1919 the Bavarian stigmatic Therese Neumann suffered convulsions, lost her sight and speech and in the summer of that year fell unconscious, becoming rigid and paralised in both legs, a condition which lasted for four years.

May 1992

Heather Woods, a 43 year old widow living in Lincoln confided in her bishop and showed him the palms of her hands where there were round tender areas of skin which periodically seeped blood. Similar marks appeared on her feet and a livid crescent wound appeared on the skin on her side.

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