ROME (Zenit): Critics who claim that the stigmata of people like Padre Pio are not authentic, have a tough opponent to contend with – modern science.
Dr Nicola Silvestri, who is assistant director of health of the House for the Relief of Suffering, a hospital founded by Padre Pio in his home town of San Giovanni Rotondo, told an international congress in Rome earlier this month that from the medical point of view, the stigmata cannot be considered as wounds or sores, because they do not heal even when treated.
‘They neither become infected nor do they decompose, they do not degenerate in necrosis, and do not exude a bad odour. They bleed and remain constant and unaltered for years, against all laws of nature,’ he said.
The stigmata ‘are the exact reproduction, including the location, of Jesus’ wounds, according to studies of the holy Shroud (of Turin)’, he added.
The Church sets certain conditions before recognising the validity of stigmata. The wounds must all appear at the same time, they must cause considerable modification of the tissues, they must remain unaltered despite medical treatment, they must cause haemorrhages, and they must not result in infections or suppuration, or in instant and perfect healing
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