The first known documented case of stigmata is linked to Saint Francis of Assisi (born in 1181 or 1182), who was a Roman Catholic friar that founded the Order of Friars Minor. Additional information and details on another well-known stigmatic is discussed in this article , that of Lucia Brocadelli of Narni (1476 , 1544).
Saint Francis of Assisi
In history, Saint Francis of Assisi’s association with the Order of Friars Minor was best known as the Franciscans. He also gained a reputation as being the patron saint of animals, birds, the environment, and Italy. In his memory , Catholic churches are known to hold ceremonies that honor animals around the same time as his feast time , October 4th.
Lucia Brocadelli of Narni
Lucia Brocadelli of Narni (1476 , 1544) served as an Italian Roman Catholic mystic who was eventually beatified in 1710 , which means that the pope declares that one of its members deserves recognition as a saint or martyr (experienced a heroic death). Lucia was the oldest of 11 children and was only 5 years old when she first encountered a vision of the Virgin Mary.
After two years had passed by , she experienced another vision , only it was of the Virgin Mary and Saint Dominic together. St Dominic was the founder of the Friars Preachers (mostly called the Dominicans or the Order of Preachers (OP). In this vision, it is said that she was given the scapular , the long religious clothing item given to most people associated with Catholic religious orders.
At the age of 12, Lucia decided to make a secret vow of chastity and set her sights on becoming a Dominican nun. However, she met with unfortunate circumstances that would alter her plans. Her father died soon after , making her the responsibility of her uncle. He decided that she should get married as soon as she could. He went about finding a husband for her , even staging a party. At the party, a man that he wanted to marry Lucia attended. Her uncle’s hope was that they would become betrothed right in front of everyone at the party. Lucia knew nothing of this plan. When the suitor went to place a ring on Lucia’s finger , she slapped him away many times.
Throughout her life, she would fight to follow her life plan , avoiding marriage and the attempts of others to break her spirit. In 1495, she traveled to Rome and joined up with the Third Order Dominican Tertiaries. The following year , she was sent to Viterbo and received a great deal of attention that she did not want. This is when she reported to have experienced the stigmata. Trying her best to conceal the signs of stigmata , they failed , as people came from all over to have a look at her. She often underwent a lot of religious changes , causing concern amongst the other nuns and local bishop.
When Lucia died in 1544, her burial was put off for three days because of all the people that wanted to pay their final respects. Her tomb was situated in the monastery church. Four years later it was open and to the astonishment of many , her body was amazingly preserved. Later, it was transferred to a glass case.