When Franky Page, an atheist hairdresser in America, exhibits the first signs of stigmata, interest in the Vatican quickly aroused. On this one of their researchers is taken from his studies in Brazil to investigate this. Priest Kiernan leaves for America to take care of the girl. Initially, he doubts the authenticity of the wounds as the stigmata never occur in non-believing people. However, when the signs become clearer, Kiernan realizes that he is dealing with inexplicable forces that directly confront him with his faith. Soon it turns out that Franky Page's lack of faith was not random, but is a message for everyone, whether they believe or not. This causes the Catholic institutions to dawn on their foundations. Will Kiernan hold on to what the Church imposes on him or dare he accept a more comprehensive message?

Stigmata of Christ

Stigmata is derived from stigmatizing, which means to disgrace. However, according to them, the Stigmata as described by the Church is more a blessing than a curse. According to the Catholic community, whoever gets the Stigmata is particularly religious and therefore closer to God and Jesus Christ.

The Stigmata as the Church describes them are in fact the wounds of Christ he received in his agony to the cross. In itself, the stigmata are only five wounds, the four nails in hands and feet and the final death stab with the spear. Franky, however, gets more to endure in the film. It starts with the wounds of the nails in her wrists, because although millions of crucifixes nail Christ to the hands, it has already been scientifically proven that this is quite impossible. The hands could never bear the weight of the body without tearing through. It is therefore believed that Christ was indeed nailed to his cross by the wrists. Afterwards, we see how she receives further suffering, not only through stigmata, but also the suffering that preceded the crucifixion, such as the crown of thorns and the lashes.

Stigmata as devotion

Throughout the centuries there have been many who have come up with so-called stigmata phenomena. One of the first among them was Francis of Assisi. He would have received the stigmata in 1224. Francis was the embodiment of a new personal colored kind of piety within Christianity, in which the development of the individual and his personal gifts and talents were of great significance. At the same time he attached great importance to belonging to a group of like-minded companions, a fraternity, in which one can meet each other's needs and needs. Something that is also coming up more and more in today's society. To provide itself with certain needs by planting your own vegetables and fruits. Or buy more locally so that this economy also supports more. As well as to entertain business again instead of participating in the overriding disposable society.

Our present Pope, who opted for the name Francis, also holds these ideals high priority. Just as he is open to all kinds of people and no longer makes any decisive distinctions. This also means that he gives fresh touch to the Church and the Catholic faith.

Another devout who carried the stigmata during his lifetime was Father Pio of Italy. This is the same Father to which is referred at the beginning of the film and which also plays an underlying role in it. Pio was seen as a saint by many of his venerators during his lifetime, although church authorities tried to counter this. Many pilgrims visited Father Pio and miracles were reported regularly. Another coincidence is that the film was released in the same year that Father Pio was blessed by the church.


“il messaggero non è importante”


This is the key moment in the movie for me. The scene why Franky writes a text on her apartment wall in a dead language, the language of Jesus Christ. The Reverend Kiernan asks if she is still herself and if not with whom he has the knowledge. To which she turns around and answers that the messenger does not matter. It is the message that needs to be central, without anyone taking credit for it. And that message is that God and Christ choose not only those who believe in them, but are open to all, including those who do not believe. Say yourself, you can hardly bring a nicer message. In addition, the film also subtly highlights the theme of love and relationship within the priesthood. So the Davinci code was not the first to question this issue.

On the other hand, this is of course quite detrimental for the church institution, for what are they without their commune to indoctrinate believers? Anyway, this is a principle that shaped me. All too often we look at who brings the message and the message is lost beforehand.
This is also often seen in the whole Corona story these days. All too often messages are ignored or just idolized because we look at who brings them and not the message itself anymore. Objectivity suddenly seems to have become a through word that no one dares to venture out of fear of retribution. We may be progressive in this latest era, sometimes it seems as if we are mentally going back more and more in the time of witch hunts and 'enlightened' spirits.

Stigmata brought me insight and made me realize that every story has different facets. In addition, I was introduced through this film to the fantastic acting performances of Patricia Arquette and Gabriel Byrna, of which I have always been a fan ever since. For those who like to be carried away in worldly mysteries, this film is definitely recommended, as well as for those who dare to look beyond what is acceptable.