Behind [the] Film Endorsed by Both Catholics and Protestants is a Stigmatic Whose Life and Revelations Continue to Amaze
It's not something making the mainstream press. While newspapers focus on the vivid portrayals of Christ's Crucifixion, the involvement of a Hollywood star, and the controversy with Jews as reasons why there is so much "buzz" about the upcoming movie on Christ's Passion, there is a hidden, mystical element, and that's the charisma attached to the stigmatic whose revelations contributed significantly to the film and whose life continues to astonish.
The mystic is Anne Catherine Emmerich, and when one reads her life story, one sees that all her writings -- all her revelations -- carried the kind of power -- and caused the kind of controversy -- now being generated by the movie. The famous work of hers is a book of visions called “The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ.” That's the one tied to the movie.
It's no surprise that there is a special "something" around a movie that taps into them. It's no surprise that the movie's director, Mel Gibson, is said to carry one of her relics. The visions may not be perfect; no mysticism is; but they are extremely potent.
It was said that she saw more of history than anyone else known and that Jesus Himself conducted her through many visions. Communion came at the age of 12, but from the day of her baptism, she was strongly attracted to the Blessed Sacrament. "When before it, her joy shone exteriorly," writes [her biographer] Father Schmogen. "She never entered the church without her angel-guardian who taught her by his own example the homage due to the Eucharistic God. Our Lord Himself had made known to her in vision the grandeur and magnificence of His mysteries....”
[According to the canon of the Cathedral of Loybech]: “After Holy Scripture, there is no book that contains so many words of eternal truth and life than the revelations of A. C. Emmerich.” Such is crucial, as a movie based at least partly on her visions is ready to make an international splash and as the Vatican prepares to consider her beatification. Her life was one of constant sickness and suffering in rooms where mice scattered over her coverlet and the cold was such that the straw of her bed froze to the wall.
The stigmata itself was incredible -- studied by both medical experts and ecclesiastical authorities, who all left totally sure it was from the supernatural even if they had started out as skeptics. The wounds, up to half an inch in size, were in her hands, feet, side, and head, and bled profusely, especially on Fridays. Said one physician, "There can be no question of imposture in this case. The wounds speak for themselves, at least to a man of science. To ascribe them to natural causes such as imagination, induction, analogy, or similar causes, is simply impossible."
In 1798 the Crown of Thorns was "laid" upon her brow by her "heavenly spouse" as she prayed toward mid-day before a Crucifix in the organ loft -- nearly precisely what would occur a century later to St. Padre Pio. More amazing still is that for years she survived by drinking only water and taking for food only the [communion] Host. [S]he claimed apparitions of John the Baptist and the Blessed Mother.
It was a life of visions and apparitions and the actual pains of what Christ went through in His Passion. "All that is holy, all that is blessed, all that pertains to the Church, was as perfectly intelligible to me then as now," she said, "and I saw marvelous things of the [Roman Catholic] Church's essence. I felt the Presence of God in the Most Blessed Sacrament. I saw the relics shining with light, and I recognized the saint who hovered above them."
Catholic writer Michael H. Brown (excerpts from Spirit Daily web page article)