His hand wounds
to the remaining
11 Apostles after
|Agnus Dei Presents!|
|The Shroud vs. the Stigmata
Which Is Correct:
in the Hand or in the Wrist?
|As we said in our previous article, we have been getting a lot of wonderful mail and, last week, we received one that contained a very important observation.
It comes from someone who believes the Shroud of Turin is the authentic burial cloth of our Lord and Savior. They also, as we do, believe in the many visionaries of the Church and, of course, those who, for the sake of souls, have suffered the stigmata. The very wounds of Christ.
As we all know, St. Francis of Assisi is the first person documented to have received the five major wounds of Jesus.
Perhaps the most famous of stigmatists in the modern world is, of course, Padre Pio, who was recently canonized by Pope John Paul II.
This is extremely important, because as we keep emphasizing — especially for the “Doubting Thomases” — people do not get to be Saints in the Catholic Church unless they pass a rigorous verification of not only their holy lives, but also CONFIRMED miracles after their death.
Anyone who wishes to dispute these facts is then at odds with two very important factors:
* the first, that God Himself has confirmed the holiness and worthiness of the individual Saints through miraculous methods;
* and second, a skeptical Church that insists the miracles associated with the Saint pass an impartial scientific scrutiny and religious investigation.
The list of those who have performed to these two requirements is quite long and impressive.
Here is where the dilemma resides for those who believe in the Shroud and also in the Saints who have suffered the stigmata.
For on the Shroud, medical science has concluded that the wound in Jesus’ hand cannot possibly be in the center: it must be in the wrist! There are some who argue that it is at the base of the palm; but in either case, the key issue is the wound cannot certainly be in the middle of the hand as we see it manifested by a stigmatist.
Why? Experiments on cadavers have proven that the body weight of an individual cannot be sustained on a Cross when the nail is placed through the center of the hand. The enormous body weight on the hands rips the nail right through the flesh causing the person to fall off a cross.
In addition, the Romans, who were experts at crucifying individuals, DID NOT want their victim to die right away. People who were crucified did not bleed to death (most were tied and not nailed to a cross). Instead, they drown in their own fluids when they could no longer lift themselves up on their cross to clear the buildup of fluid in their lungs. They are literally drowning as if in an ocean. This process could take 3 to 4 days before death would come if the individual was strong. But if the bones of a victim were broken, they would not have the power to lift themselves up to clear the fluid which quickly builds up as the body is in a slumped position on the cross.
This is why the Romans DID break the bones of a victim when they WANTED them to die (as in the case of the two thieves crucified on either side of Jesus)! Within 3 to
4 minutes of breaking a victim’s legs, they would drown in their own fluids and expire!
As we can see from these simplified illustrations, crucifixion IS the most inhumane treatment and ignominious death a person can suffer.
It is the Suffering of Christ as the Savior of the world.
This is why so many of Jesus’ beloved brides were victims of tuberculosis. Brides such as Sister Marie Pierre, who gave us the devotion to the Holy Face; Saint Therese, who promulgated that devotion (as well as to the Holy Child), and St. Faustina, who was the Lord’s Secretary of Divine Mercy. These brides — and others too numerous to mention — experienced what Jesus experienced on the Cross.
Only the Lord did not die from fluid in His lungs or from His bones being broken (for as the Shroud proves, none of Jesus’ bones were broken, neither hands nor legs).
Spiritually, and from the medical evidence, Jesus, as the Savior of the world taking upon the sins of mankind, died of a broken Heart of His own Will and at His own timing (at
3:00 p.m., the Divine Mercy hour, to be exact)!
So what about the stigmatists?
The questions we receive are extremely observant to the fact that the medical science of the Shroud and the stigmatism that these great Saints — St. Francis and St. Pio, just to name the most prominent two — did not have wrist wounds, but had gaping holes in the center of their hands! We, ourselves, saw, at St. Francis’ tomb in Italy, the clothing he wore showing where his wounds were located: in the center of the hand!
How can this be?
Does this prove the Shroud is a forgery?
Or conversely, does this prove that these Saints did not have the wounds of Christ?
How can both be so diametrically opposed to one other? It is impossible for one to be right and the other to be wrong. One or the other must be false!
Both are absolutely correct and both brilliantly — as only God could do — prove each other to be right!
How can that be?
How could two so different truths prove the ultimate Truth?
In fact, the two opposite truths of wrist and hand wounds goes to the heart of the matter. It goes to those who today talk about the Bible and how we can get many different interpretations of the Scripture based on individual comprehension and expansion of what is really said in God’s Word! The problem for these people is that they don’t pay attention to one version of the Bible, the original (Latin Vulgate); and no other “interpreter” expect Jerome has the title of “Saint” in front of their name!
That is why we love this question about the wrist wound whenever we give Shroud presentations. It truly is brilliant and gives us an opportunity to speak about ultimate Truth. And we are so thankful for the person who inquired about this seemingly IMPOSSIBLE reconciliation of two opposites truths!
In fact, the best part of this person’s inquiry to us stems from the point that they, as their e-mail indicated, had the author of a Shroud book give a presentation to their parish. Apparently, this question was asked and, from what we can ascertain, no answer from this author, whose name we do not know, and do not care to know, was forthcoming.
There is an extremely important reason for this author’s seemingly inability — and many other sindonologists — to provide a reason and instead give a safe “I don’t know” answer. We cite it all the time to those who believe, do not believe, or are just plain curious about the Shroud.
You see, while we respect the scientists who investigate and research the Truths about the Shroud, as well as all those involved in sindonology, they, and most authors of books on the cloth, DO NOT WANT TO GET INTO THE SPIRITUAL BATTLE THAT SURROUNDS Jesus’ Mantle.
And, as we have stated over and over again (and, in the scientific community, which usually falls on proverbial “deaf” ears, YOU CANNOT TAKE THE SPIRITUAL REALITY OUT OF THE CLOTH AND JUST DISCUSS THE SCIENCE!
He is not just science!
He is God!
And, as such, the spiritual Truths of the Shroud are far more important than the scientific ones! This is especially true in the Great Spiritual Battle!
How does this all relate to the incredible difference between the medical Truth of the wrist wound on the Shroud and the spiritual Truth of a hand wound on a stigmatist?
Here is where the spiritual meets the scientific (and spiritual overrules scientific)!
No one in the scientific community would dare to make a comment on what we are about to say.
Why? They would be the first to tell you that they are NOT qualified! That there is no way to “scientifically” test the Truth of this.
Likewise, no one in the Church seems to want to make this connection either.
So, for those who do not wish, what we are about to say, you don’t have to believe it — if you don’t want to.
But in reality — or in actuality, spiritually — it makes perfect sense.
For God is NOT interested in the medical science of the Shroud when He offers His wounds to the potential stigmatist.
Jesus is interested in first, the soul accepting this incredibly great, yet overwhelming gift! Second, the Lord is interested in the suffering of the soul. Why? To save other souls! The Lord Jesus, just as He does with His own sufferings on the Cross, His Mother’s sufferings, and any true believer’s sufferings, uses them to grant graces to soul’s who are failing His tests! Souls who are in big trouble.
The name of the game for Jesus is to SAVE SOULS!
And He wants His creation to participate and help Him. He does not NEED our help. But He likes and wants it. That’s what the Rosary is all about! And those who truly help Jesus and Mary save souls are the ones who will receive eternal rewards!
And that is what He was interested in when He dealt with St. Francis and St. Pio, and any other authentic stigmatist! It is the saving of souls. Not the wounds! Remember, Jesus rewarded St. Francis the vacated throne of lucifer in Heaven! We wonder what Padre Pio received as his reward!
On the other hand, the stigmatist is not thinking about the Shroud or any rewards. In fact, St. Francis and St. Pio really had no medical knowledge of the cloth. Nor are they thinking about medical science when the Lord Jesus offers them this unearthly gift! The potential stigmatist is only thinking about the Sufferings of Christ!
And in those sufferings that the soul is being offered they recall the paintings — the beautiful artwork — that depicts Christ’s wounds. They recall the Stations of the Cross. They recall the Scriptures that clearly teach the Lord was pierced in His hands!
“Then He saith to Thomas, ‘Put in thy finger hither, and see My hands … ” as Jesus spoke to the doubting “twin” on the first Divine Mercy Sunday. John 20:27
In the 4th Century, Constantine the Great, as a believer in Jesus (despite what protest-ants claim!), OUTLAWED crucifixion in the Roman Empire in deference to the Son of God — the emperor of the world’s God.
By the 2nd Millennium, people no longer knew how victims were crucified. The method of crucifixion was lost to history.
But the Scriptures consistently spoke of Jesus’ hands. The wounds in His hands.
At the time of St. Francis, the understanding was that Jesus was crucified in His “hands and feet.”
In reality, Jesus was crucified in His wrist.
It most certainly was not in the center of the hand.
The Shroud today proves this Truth because negative images of the cloth show the metacarpal bones in the hand of our Savior. The nail wound is above them, and, therefore, is located in the wrist.
This also proves the authenticity of the cloth because no one understood anatomy when the cloth’s verifiable history in Europe begins in 1355. No one understood X-ray information until the 1800s. In this regard, you can bet your bottom spiritual dollar that anyone who tries to convince anyone that the Shroud is a “painting,” is, literally, a complete pathological liar.
So where does this leave us with the Saints and the question of who is telling the Truth: the Shroud or the stigmatist?
In fact, does this prove the Gospels are wrong in regard to how people were nailed to a cross? We cannot emphasize this enough in the incredible world of Jesus who is the WORD of God: the Shroud, the Gospels and the stigmatists are Truth and correct!
In the time of the Gospel writers, there was NO WORD FOR WRIST! Not in Latin, not in Greek, not in Hebrew, and not in Aramaic!
The hand extended from the tip of the middle finger to the elbow!
Jesus could have had a nail placed through His forearm and the Gospel writers would have written He was crucified in His hand!
And the stigmatist — who is not thinking of these simple nuances and differences — manifests the wounds of Christ where they have always envisioned it: in the center of the palm of the hand!
And Jesus, who could care less about medical science when it comes to the soul He is offering the gift of the stigmata to, does not “correct” the manifestation of the wound. For medical and anatomical accuracy here is not what counts.
Saving souls, through the suffering of the stigmatist, is what the Lord is after!
And in this, Jesus is giving us an extremely valuable lesson about the Scriptures.
Today — especially in the world of protest-ant-ism — we have people running around interpreting the Scriptures according to their 20th/21st-century knowledge!
As we understand it, according to experts, there were less than 600 words in the Aramaic language — the native language Jesus spoke — when the Gospels were written!
At last count, that we are aware of, there are over 4 million words in the English language!
Can anyone imagine trying to comprehend the WORD OF GOD in all its subtleties when translating from the ancient languages of Jesus to today’s modern world of medical, legal, technical mumbo-jumbo?
This lesson is CRITICAL when dealing with those who use the words “brothers and sisters” to make the claim that the Blessed EVER-VIRGIN Mary had other children other than Jesus! That is why the Latin Vulgate — and no other Bible — translated by the great St. Jerome under the ONE-TIME “God-Don’t-Make-Mistakes” Inspiration of the Holy Spirit is the ONLY translation one should believe in as “authentic.”
This is a great test for people.
This is a great test for believers.
The e–mail we received discussed one of the great visionaries of the Church, Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, who also bore the stigmata, and the fact that she, too, envisioned Christ with His wounds in the center of His hand.
That is not the point of her vision. The point of her vision is the incredible SUFFERING of our Savior! Every visionary will interpret their vision from their personal perspective, comprehension and understanding (for Anne was not a medical practitioner nor an expert on the Shroud)! And, while alive, no Saint or visionary is perfect.
The medical truth of the matter is, as the Shroud proves, the Lord Jesus was crucified in His wrist.
And the spiritual Truth of the matter is, the Lord Jesus is testing everyone’s faith through visionaries and stigmatists and their messages for mankind.
And that message is a simple one.
It is not the message of a wrist wound vs. a hand wound.
For the wounds of the stigmatist are “mystical”; not “medical.”
Those who knew Padre Pio said that one could see light pass through the wounds in his hands! That’s how large and penetrating the wounds were that this great Saint suffered.
It is said that St. Pio had the mystical wounds of Christ for 50 years! What should have happened to Padre Pio as he bled through those wounds?
By all medical standards, Padre Pio should have bled to death!
But he didn’t. He survived! We have now entered into the supernatural world of Jesus. The laws of nature, as humans understand them, are now suspended, according to the Will of God!
And no visionary, no stigmatist, no Saint on Earth can comprehend all the nuances of the supernatural world of Jesus!
It is then, the ultimate message, that Jesus, as the Shroud and stigmatists prove, is our God and Savior, no matter what words we may use: whether we correctly identify His wounds medically in His wrist, or speak of the wounds mystically in the hands that the stigmatists suffer from.
And the same is true of Mary, whether we speak of the “brothers and sisters” of the Lord, or correctly identify them as the “cousins” they are. For Mary is the Ever-Virgin Mother of God!
And every person, whether they recognize or not the Truth of the Shroud, or the Truth of St. Francis and St. Pio, need not argue over the semantics of whether or not it is a wrist or hand wound. For in the spiritual world, it is a hand wound to the Lord, His stigmatists and Gospel writers; and, in the temporal world, it is a wrist wound to medical doctors, scientists and those who study and know the Shroud!
But no matter what a person may believe or not believe, and whether they are in Heaven, on Earth, or in hell, all will ultimately bend their knees to the Name of Jesus!
© 2003 Agnus Dei Presents!
We thank all of our readers for their e-mails — even the challenging ones — and we hope we have spiritually answered this difficult one. May you all be blessed by God and His Mother, and keep the questions and comments coming!
|The metacarpal bones are clearly depicted in a negative image of Jesus on the
Shroud of Turin.
Above them, on the
left hand, the wrist wound
is clearly seen, proving Jesus was not Crucified in
Does this make
the Gospels wrong?
|One of the wounds of Christ manifested in the center
of St. Pio's hand!
|The great Saint,
displaying the incredible wounds in his hands!