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Saints with Stigmata
Question from Mary Kay on 9/8/2003:

Can you please help address a question that was asked of me so I may respond properly? Padre Pio and many other saints have had the stigmata......wounds of the hands, feet and side like Our Lord Jesus Christ. According to historians, Roman crucifixions nailed at the wrists and not in the palm of the hand, since the palm of the hands could not hold the weight of the entire body. If this is true, then is this a contradiction of the location of the stigmata that appears on all our saints? Why wouldn't it appear on the wrists instead of the palms? To me it would make sense to nail in the palm of the hand to assure a slower death with suffering as the likely hood of hitting a main artery would exist if nailed in the wrists and bleeding to death in minutes.

Thank you

Mary Kay

Answer by Catholic Answers on 9/9/2003:

Dear Mary,

The lastest on where the nails went is that they entered at the palm and traveled throught the carpal tunnel and out at the wrist. This would hold the weight of His body where a nail straight through the palm would tear away. The pain, of course, would not be limited to the wound but travel up His arms to His shoulders and back. This is from the Shroud of Turin's most recent evidence. It sounds the most probable to me.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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