Sunday, April 14, 2019


During Holy Week we meditate on the  “five wounds of Christ,” but according to some revelations (St. Gertrude the Great, St. Catherine of Siena, among others) Jesus suffered many more. The five wounds refer to the wounds He received specifically from crucifixion: His hands and feet, and then the piercing in His side with a lance.  We must remember, He was flogged, beaten, crowned with thorns, and carried His own cross.

(German- 1500)

St. Gertrude  received many supernatural experiences of Christ during her 46 years of life and was a key person in the development of devotion to Jesus’ Sacred Heart.

During one of these mystical visions, Christ revealed to her the number of wounds he received in total during his passion: 5,466. In the fourteenth century it was customary in southern Germany to recite fifteen Pater Nosters each day (which thus amounted to 5475 in the course of a year) in memory of the Sacred Wounds.

St. Bridget of Sweden was told by Christ in one of her visions: "I received 5480 blows upon My Body.”  (I suppose if you add the five precious wounds we normally associate with the passion to St. Gertrude’s number, you come out with St. Bridget’s total.)

St. Bernard of Clairvaux was told By Christ that the most painful wound He bore was His shoulder, from the heavy cross.

The final wound was in the side of Jesus' chest, where, according to the New Testament, His body was pierced by the Lance of Longinus in order to be sure that He was dead. The Gospel of John states that blood and water poured out of this wound (John 19:34). Although the Gospels do not specify on which side He was wounded, it was conventionally shown in art as being on Jesus' side, though some depictions, notably a number by Rubens, show it on the left.

The five main wounds He suffered,  are symbolic of all the wounds, and special devotion to them arose very early on. St. John is said to have appeared to Pope Boniface II (d. 532) and revealed a special Mass, the "Golden Mass", in honor of Christ's Five Wounds. These Five Wounds that are most often produced in the stigmatics who imitate Him best,  St. Francis of Assisi and St. (Padre) Pio among them..

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