Crucified with Christ -The extraordinary Mystics of the Church
"Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church..." -St Paul to the Colossians- (Colossians 1:24)
This website is devoted to the countless Mystics of the Catholic Church, including the popular Saint mystics, and also those who are not so well known. Some of the mystics presented here have been formally beatified or canonised, and others have not. Some may never be formally raised to the altars. It is not the authors intention to anticipate the judgement of the Catholic Church in presenting the lives of those not yet formally beatified or canonized. For those not canonised, the statements presented herein rest on human authority alone. The author submits wholeheartedly to the infallible wisdom and judgement of the Catholic Church in regards to the persons presented on this website. Please see this important note on judging mystics and private revelations and obedience to the Catholic Church
In 1 Thess. 5:19-22, St. Paul says: "Do not extinguish the Spirit. Do not despise prophecy. Test everything; retain what is good". So essentially Paul encourages us not to despise prophesy, but at the same time he tells us to be cautious and to test the spirits. The extraordinary life of the false mystic Sr. Magdalena of the Cross who was guided by the devil for 50 years is meant to be a warning to everyone of the dangers of false mysticism and phony visionaries. In the end it is always the local bishop (and in certain circumstances the Vatican) who alone has the authority to judge the authenticity of such persons in the name of the Church.
Blood and Fire -The mystery of suffering and love in the extraordinary lives of the mystics
The central point of Christianity is that Jesus suffered a horrible death on the Cross so that we may be forgiven of our sins. Scripture says- "...Yet it was our infirmities that he bore, our sufferings that he endured, while we thought of him as stricken, as one smitten by God and afflicted. But he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins, Upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes we were healed." (Isaiah. 53:4-5) Thus, Jesus became a victim for our sins, and because of this at the same time a sword of sorrow pierced the heart of His Mother, who suffered in union with Her Divine Son. (cf. Luke 2:34-35).
From a traditional Christian perspective, the definition of a mystic would be a person who is especially chosen by God to receive mystical gifts and graces, which are freely given to the individual by the express Will of God, and not through any special merit or choice of the individual who receives them. In other words, a person does not choose to become a mystic or to receive mystical graces, but is chosen by God to accomplish a specific purpose within the Church, for the salvation of souls.
This website explores some of the extraordinary Mystics who are called by God to a special sacrificial union with Him, and most of the individuals on this website have received extraordinary mystical graces from God to strengthen and guide them in their mission within the Church. By the express Will of God, the Mystics are united with Jesus and Mary in suffering for the conversion of sinners. As victim souls, they are fastened to the Cross in union with Jesus in order to continue our Saviours offering to the Father, in reparation for our sins. In other words, they are coredeemers with Christ and their mission is to lead souls to God, because while Jesus obtained for us the possibility of our salvation, the work of our conversion and redemption is ongoing. The mystics are the great lovers of God who offer and give of themselves completely to "fill up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church" (Colossians 1:24). Although the Mystics are often submerged in a sea of pain, as willed by God, they are also at the same time full of love, joy and happiness, ravished by the love of God, in a joyful union with Jesus and His Mother.
And so we have for example the remarkable Saint Gemma Galgani saying to Jesus in a ecstasy of love- "Jesus possesses my heart, and being in possession of Jesus I find that I can smile, even in the midst of so many tears. I feel, yes, I feel that I am happy even in the midst of so many sufferings." Because of their unique participation in the Passion, and consequently their special union with Jesus, the Mystics of the Church are known for their extraordinary expressions of love for God and souls. Often, these accents of love that dart forth from their hearts all on fire for the love of God are captured in their diaries and letters, or in many cases, in their words of love that escape from their lips while in ecstasy, and are carefully noted by those nearby. Such expressions of love are truly a treasure that inspires and inflames the heart of those of us who read them. The expressions of love and devotion that we have from the mystics coupled with the example of their lives of heroic sacrifice, suffering and virtue, form a treasure of the most exquisite spiritual gems and pearls, unique to each mystic, of which we hope to offer on this website. We can learn so much from the lives of the Mystics.
Because of our weak human nature, we naturally shy away from suffering and sacrifice, and the lives of many of the Mystic-victim souls are certainly full of sacrifices and sufferings! But we must not shy away from the Mystics, as they provide us with a treasure of devotion, inspiration and spiritual guidance, showing us first hand how God is to be loved with all ones heart, in all times and seasons, and especially during times of sufferings, trials and sacrifices. In fact, it is the mystic-victim souls in particular who address the "problem" of human suffering. They teach us how to suffer in union with Jesus, offering to Jesus our sufferings and sacrifices, and uniting our sufferings with Him. The Mystics teach us that quite often love and sacrifice go hand in hand, and that even amidst our adversities it is always our union with the Passion of Jesus that gives us strength, peace and joy.
In closing, when it comes to purported mystics and visionaries, there is one VERY IMPORTANT consideration that must be kept in mind, and this is that 9 out of 10 alleged visionaries are FALSE, as anyone who studies private revelation in depth soon discovers. Many, including this writer, have learned this lesson the hard way, having been misled by a purported living visionary. Therefore obviously one needs to be very cautious and prudent when discerning such persons. Because of this, the majority of persons highlighted on this website are deceased, as this writer is very reluctant to highlight any alleged LIVING mystics. And, as stated in the introduction above, in the end it is always the local bishop (and in certain circumstances the Vatican) who alone has the authority to judge the authenticity of such persons in the name of the Church.
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Quotes from some of the Mystics on this website:
St Gemma Galgani: "Two sentiments were born in my heart the very first time that I felt and saw Jesus dripping in blood. The first one was to love Him, and to love Him to the point of sacrifice....the other thing that was borne in my heart after seeing Jesus was a great desire to suffer something for Him, seeing how much He had suffered for me!.." -St Gemma Galgani -Click here for more of the great lover of Jesus, St Gemma Galgani
Therese Neumann: Therese Neumann was once asked how it was possible that she never ate or drank and lived on the Eucharist alone, and she responded “The Saviour can do all things. Did He not say that “my Flesh is real food, and my blood is real drink?” -Click here for more on Therese Neumann
Gabrielle Bossis: "As you look back over your life, don't you see that My will was always for your good? This is because I love you, and it's the same for everyone, since I love each of you individually. I see you all differently; I see every detail about you, do you understand? My love is not of global love. I need each one of you as though you were the only person in the world, as though the cosmos had been created for you alone, and My love is greater than the cosmos. So let this thought be a strength to you and your smiling calm." -Some of the many words of Jesus to Gabrielle Bossis
Sister Consolata Betrone: "See Consolata, the enemy will make every effort to shake your blind faith in Me. But you must never forget that I am and love to be always kind and merciful. Understand my heart Consolata; understand my love, and never permit the enemy to gain entrance into your soul, even for an instant, with a thought of a lack of confidence in Me. Believe Me, I am solely and always kind; I am solely an always like a parent to you! So, imitate the children who at every little scratch of the finger, run at once to mother to have it bandaged. You should always do the same and remember that I will always cancel out and repair your imperfections and faults, just as a mother will always bandage the child's finger, whether it is really hurt or only seems so in his imagination. And if the child were to really hurt his arm, or his head, how tenderly and affectionately would he be cared for and bandaged by the mother! Well, I do this very same thing with regard to your soul when you fall, even though I may do so in silence. Do You understand Consolata? Therefore, never, never, never have even a shadow of doubt; a lack of confidence wounds My heart to the quick, and makes Me suffer." -Words of Jesus to the Servant of God, Sr. Consolata Betrone
Blessed Anna Maria Taigi: "...Among her many spiritual gifts the most remarkable was the sun-globe which appeared ever next to her at for a space of forty-seven years. She had only to focus her thoughts and attention to the matter that she wanted enlightenment on, then turning to look into the sun-globe she would see into the matter in its completeness and fulness in the true light of God. Thus she saw and foresaw events pertaining to specific persons, and worldwide events, both in the present and in the future. Her gaze travelled to the ends of the earth and discovered there people on whom she had never set eyes, reading them to the depth of their souls. One glance sufficed; upon whatever she focused her thoughts, it was revealed to her and her understanding. She saw the whole world as we see the front of a building. It was the same with nations as with individuals; she saw the cause of their distresses and the remedies that would heal them. By means of this permanent and prodigious miracle, the poor wife of Domenico Taigi became a theologian, a teacher and a prophet. The miracle lasted forty-seven years. Until her death the humble woman was able to read this mysterious sun as an ever-open book and she looked into it solely for the glory of God; that is, when charity suggested or obedience demanded it. Should things for which she had not looked or which she did not understand appear, she refrained from knowing more or asking explanations.” Click here for more about Blessed Anna Taigi
Sr. Maria Antonia (Cecy Cony): "Under Angel Wings" is the true story of a Brazilian girl named Cecy Cony (later Sr. Maria Antonia), who was born in 1900 and was led to high sanctity under the continual guidance, protection and inspiration of her Guardian Angel, whom she called her "New Friend." Thanks to her autobiography we can follow the extraordinary gift of the visible presence of her guardian Angel who guides her to an intimate relationship with God throughout her childhood and early adult life. Click here for the remarkable story of Sr. Maria Antonia and her guardian Angel
Marie Rose Ferron: Beginning at age 6, the American mystic and stigmatic Marie-Rose Ferron had already had a vision of Jesus. "I saw Him with a cross," she said, "and He was looking at me with sadness in His eyes." Thus began a most remarkable life filled with an extraordinary love of God--a love lived out in deep sacrifice and suffering in union with Jesus for the conversion of sinners. Rose once asked of her mother and a couple of visitors near the bed: "How is it that I lose so much blood, when I have so little?" Hardly had she uttered this question when she was drawn into ecstasy and began to speak: "Oh! It is Your Blood that gushes from me! As for me, I am nothing, nothing, my Jesus!" -Click here for more of the American mystic Marie Rose Ferron
Reverend (Pere) Lamy: “...Out in the orchard it was given to me to see Our Lord on the cross. I saw Him while some boys were stealing my pears. I was actually running after them with a rake, saying: ‘I will show you.' Then, suddenly, there He was." “It was in the month of September during the holidays, on a Sunday …I cannot remember the year. I was at the Guild. I had the key and went into the property. I was keeping a watch on the fruit because I used to give it to the children. There was quite a band of thieves there. I lay down in the grass to hide because the grass was very high. As they came near I got up, seized a rake, and ran after them as fast as I could, brandishing the rake and shouting: ' You rascals, you wait!' I raised the rake though I did not intend to injure them. When I reached the wall by the road, there was Our Lord on the cross-about where you are now. The boys were overcome with amazement and so was I. Our Lord did not want me to strike the boys, and so He appeared. I heard them saying: 'Jesus, Jesus is there with the Cure.' No doubt, some of them saw Him, but they kept running all the same. I had had wire-netting put up, and those boys got out above and below the wire-netting, scratching out the earth with their hands like dogs or rabbits." “Our Lord was almost torn asunder. The arms were straight out, at right angles to the body. He had on His Head what looked like a bush of thorns, like a basket upside down. It was a hood of thorns. What an outrage I He had one foot nailed upon the other, I think, but it was His Face I was looking it. To make the crown they must have put several branches together and twisted them, and then hammered them in with cudgel blows. It was a mass of sharp points. He wore grey linen round His loins, knotted at the back, not at the side." “I could almost have touched His Feet, by lifting my hand. It was an apparition willed by Our Lord and not the scene of Calvary. On Calvary the cross was very high, and it was set in the earth and choked with stones. But in the apparition no hole was marked in the ground. The cross appeared near the outer corner of the orchard, facing me, with its back to the street. The boys were running away from me very fast, but after the apparition they ran faster." -Click here for more mystical visions from Rev.(Pere) Lamy
Servant of God Anne Louise Lateau: "On Friday, April 24, 1868, the first trace of the Stigmata appeared. She noticed that some blood flowed, on that day, from her left side. With her usual reserve she made no mention of it to any one, not even to her mother or sisters. On the next Friday, blood came again, from the same spot, and also from the upper surface of both feet. She now confided the matter to her spiritual director, the “Cure” or Parish priest of Bois d'Haine. The priest, though greatly struck by so extraordinary a phenomenon, wisely and prudently downplayed the event. He tried to restore her peace and tranquility, and told her to say nothing about it. On the third Friday, May 8, blood flowed, during the night, from her left side, and her feet; and towards nine o'clock in the morning, it came also abundantly from the palms and backs of her hands. She passed for the first time, into an Ecstasy, on Friday July 17, in the same year: and two months later, on Friday, September 25, the coronet or crown of bleeding points appeared around her head. All these phenomena, from the time of their first appearance, were repeated on each successive Friday, with little or no interruption: the only exceptions being, that the bleeding coronet was occasionally absent during the first year, and that the other Stigmas failed to bleed on two occasions. From the time that blood began to issue from her hands, the extraordinary condition of Louise could no longer remain a secret. The news spread abroad. Crowds assembled weekly round her mother's house; and the excitement soon became so great that the ecclesiastical authorities felt it their duty to take some action in the matter. It was then that they asked Doctor Lefebvre to institute a thorough scrutiny of the whole case, from a medical point of view. His study commenced on August 13, 1868, and continued for one and a half years. With a view to investigate its character still more closely, Doctor Lefebvre, as he tells us, "installed a microscope" in the cottage of Louise, and examined the blood, at the moment of its escape from the body. In this examination he was assisted by two of his medical colleagues, who were both skilled in medical and microscopical researches, Dr Hairion, Professor of Hygiene, and Dr. Van Kempen, Professor of Anatomy." Click here for more info on Anne Louise Lateau
Blessed Alexandrina da Costa: "Alexandrina's life of suffering in expiation for sin was now to be challenged by the powers of darkness. From 1934 onwards, she began to be assailed by hideous visions and howling, blasphemous taunts that God had abandoned her, that suicide was the imperative alternative to a life of agonising futility. Whenever Fr Pinho was unable to visit her, he asked Alexandrina to inform him in writing of everything that happened to her. On Sept. 14, 1934 she wrote to him as follows: «Do you want to know what that "black face from Hell" recently beat into my head? Here it is: "Whatever I write to you will be the cause of my condemnation… and that if I do not obey him… the worst will happen." It makes me weep. » Seeing her so afflicted, Our Lord reportedly appeared to her a month later and said, "Whom do you wish to obey, Me and your director — or the devil ?" His words reassured Alexandrina, but the devil returned to the attack. He raved : 'Excommunication, a thousand excommunications if you continue to write to your spiritual director! Already you are burning in Hell. Be converted, unhappy one! Be converted, miserable wretch! It is the affection I have for you that makes me speak in this way. I come now from your Christ who told me to take you, because he can no longer save you. He was distressed by your writings.' The devil added that it was useless for her to pray, that there was no salvation for her, that nobody would be able to help her, that she would be condemned. Alexandrina recalled : 'One moonlit night after prayers I felt a need to sleep, when suddenly into my room came a great darkness... I perceived a black shadow and saw it jump towards me, and it said to me, "I come on behalf of your Christ to carry you to Hell, bed and all." I kissed the crucifix and the voice continued, "You kiss that wicked thing?" He then ordered me to do things that I cannot speak of... It was only when I took holy water that I was left in peace.' She continued: 'Every now and then I see a rapid light. Twice I have seen two very big eyes, wide open, staring at me, but they disappeared quickly. On Sunday, I heard a very sweet voice saying, "My daughter, I come to tell you not to write anything of what you see: your sight is deceiving you. Don't you feel how weak you are? You displease me with this; it is your Jesus who speaks to you, not Satan." I was suspicious and began to kiss the crucifix. The voice became enraged and thundered, "If you continue to write I will destroy your body. Do you think I could not do it?"' In a letter to Fr Pinho dated 14 February 1935, Alexandrina wrote, "The demon wanted me to remove the sacred objects which I wore and the crucifix which I held in my hand. He told me that he had secrets to confide to me, but first I must take off those objects which he hates." All this time her physical sufferings continued and her ecstasies grew more numerous and profound. Click here for more from Blessed Alexandrina da Costa
Sr. Josefa Menendez: "The world does not know the mercy of My Heart. I intend to enlighten them through you. I want you to be the apostle of My love and mercy." “I would like these [those living with sin] to understand that it is not the fact of being in sin that ought to keep them from Me. They must never think that there is no remedy for them, nor that they have forfeited for ever the love that once was theirs.... No, poor souls, the God who has shed all His Blood for you has no such feelings for you!” “Come all of you to Me and fear not, for I Love you all... I will wash you in My Blood and you shall be made whiter than snow. All of your offences will be submerged in the waters in which I myself shall wash you, nor shall anything whatsoever be able to tear from My Heart its Love for you." Click here for more of Jesus' message of mercy through Sr. Josefa Menendez
Marthe Robin ...The agony of Christ began for her on Thursday evenings. "He desires to relive in me His Passion up until his last breath and His descent into hell, and even his resurrection, although I remain on the cross so as to continue this life of crucifixion that is His will for me; that He wills for me for His glory and for the redemption of souls all over the world." Fr. Finet more than once told of his pathetic dialogue between them that preceded her entry into the agony of the Passion: "Father, do you know that today is Thursday'?" "Yes, my child." "You know, Father, that this evening ... " "Yes, my child." "Father, I worry I will not be able to bear it." "Yes, yes, my child!" And, little by little, during the course of the day on Thursday, Marthe increasingly felt the pangs of the Passion. She was in combat against the infernal regions unleashed, against the Devil, who beat her head against the furniture near her couch. And Marthe wept tears of blood. Like Christ at Gethsemane, she carried the sins of the world. She was overwhelmed and horrified; she became sin. Sometimes she would say to Fr. Finet, "Do not come near me! I will make you dirty!" She groaned, unable to say any more. For over 50 years (until her holy death in 1981) she offered he life and sufferings in union with Jesus for the conversion of sinners. Let us read these words of Marthe, which summarize well her life of love: “I am Thy prey, oh Jesus, in the Cross and in joy, in cruel trials and in sharpest pain; oh how sweet it is to suffer when it is a sacrifice to Thee! And when one has as one's sun the great fire of Thy heart. I know where love dwells, I have seen the shining of Its flame, And for Thy heaven, oh Jesus, I would gather flowers. Painful torments bloody my soul, but unceasingly I repeat, 'I thank Thee, my Savior." "Oh Virgin Mary, let me each day be more docile, more patient, more simple; unnoticed and forgotten. I do not ask that God bring about in me things that are visible, but only that I be a small, lowly child, sweet and humble of heart." "My Lord and my God, to You I abandon myself. You wish me here, and here I shall remain, with no thought of leaving; if you wish me elsewhere, that is what I too wish. I know, oh Jesus, that always and everywhere You are saving me for yourself. Oh my Jesus, how thy little victim suffers, but how she loves Thee, with as much love as she has received ... oh Jesus, keep me always. I belong to Thee; give me patience and peace in everything." Click here for more of the life of Marthe Robin
An important consideration regarding mystics and visionaries that have been officially beatified or canonised by the Catholic church is that when the Church beatifies or canonizes a Saint, It is recognizing ONLY THE HEROIC VIRTUES OF THE PERSON. This understanding is absolutely key because the Church makes no pronouncements about the alleged mystical gifts that the person may have received, including spiritual gifts such as alleged heavenly messages, visions, stigmata, prophesies etc. The Church only concerns Herself with the heroic virtues of the person, and therefore leaves the faithful free to judge and discern the persons alleged mystical gifts and graces. With this in mind, when it comes to the extraordinary supernatural mystical gifts that have allegedly been given to many of the Saints and Blesseds on this website, the Church leaves us free to believe or disbelieve them, according to one's own opinion and discernment. This takes nothing away from the fact that the Saint or Blessed concerned had lived a extraordinarily holy life and practiced the divine virtues to a heroic degree, which is exactly what the Church has officially recognized in canonising them, and therefore they are presented to us as a holy example for us to imitate and emulate.