reminds me of a movie scene:
"sweet jesus, it's a miracle! i can see!"
-- conman eddie murphy in 'trading places' after being busted by the cops for pretending to be a blind, lame beggar
stigmata = hysteria
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: 27 Jan 2006 22:04:31 -0000
Subject: People Throng Carmelite Convent To Meet Nun With Stigmata
Hi Rajeev, Some interesting news items. Regards, Sriram
People Throng Carmelite Convent To Meet Nun With Stigmata
By SAR NEWS
PONDICHERRY Jan 27 -- Hundreds of people flocked to the Carmelite convent in Pondicherry, January 17, seeking the blessings of Sister Therese Margaret said to have suffered the Holy Stigmata.
An external Sister from Thanjavur Carmel in Tamil Nadu, Sister Margaret was on a private visit to the Pondy monastery at the request of the local Carmelite nuns.
Sister Rosy, as she is popularly known, first suffered the passions of Jesus on Good Friday last year, it is said. She bled in the head from the agony of the crown of thorns, on the shoulders due the cross and the agony of the thongs on her back and in the palms and feet. Since then, she experienced the sufferings from Thursday night till Saturday.
Starting with swelling of the palms with bursting pain, the blood gushed out or oozed from the palms and feet on Friday during Mass or prayer time. On Sunday morning she was her normal self with no sign of suffering except for a scar where she bled.
The Church and the Carmelite authorities are silent on the matter. Some are even sceptical about the whole episode.
The bleeding signs appeared last on November 26 last year. However, the passions on the head, shoulders, back, palms and feet are said to continue but with no outward sign. The bloodstains in her clothes are said to smell sweet.
During her suffering, the Carmelite nun has had many visions of the Lord talking with Mother Mary and to her. Once the Lord asked Sister Rosy whether she preferred internal or exterior stigmata. She is said to have preferred internal passion.
Another time, Mother Mary cleaned dry the blood from her wounds when a nun helping her left for community prayer. "It is just shade of my sufferings," Jesus seems to have confided to Sister Rosy.
Sister Theresa is keen on meeting priests and nuns and motivating them to living up to their vocational vows. She is claimed to have pointed out the failings of individual priests and nuns.
For the lay people her message is – read the Bible daily, pray using the words of the Bible, frequent the Holy Mass, receive Communion and say the family prayer.
People come to her seeking counselling, prayer and healing.
Sister Therese Margaret is aged around 40 years and wears a big smile while blessing the people. This SAR News correspondent saw a number of priests and nuns among the people waiting to meet with the Carmelite nun.
Dalit Catholics Deserting Church In Hordes Has Missioners Worried
RAIPUR, Chhattisgarh (SAR NEWS) -- Missioners of Raipur Archdiocese in this Hindi belt have expressed deep concern over the Gada Dalits deserting the Catholic Church for fearing of losing government benefits.
"After some years, the Catholic Church in Fuljher area may disappear," says Abraham Narayan, a senior Gada catechist from Basna. The educated are joining the Protestant groups for employment reasons and the non-literate are becoming Hindus for fear of losing scholarships (made available under government reservations), he added.
The father of a nun, Mr. Narayan said, "It is a critical issue…because of it we are not able to practise our Faith."
When the matter was raised at the archdiocesan missionary meeting, January 11, Raipur Vicar General Father Augustine Varikyckal proposed to submit a memorandum to Christian Congress leader and former Chief Minister Ajit Jogi who was recently appointed chairman of the Scheduled Caste and Tribe Commission.
Many Gada Dalits in Fuljher (eastern) region of Raipur Diocese embraced Catholicism during drought in 1932. Some of them had been Mennonites and others were Hindus. Though officially there are about 10,000 baptised Gadas in the seven parishes of the archdiocese, lately many have either turned indifferent to religious practices after the American Catholic Relief Services stopped aid, or have joined other Christian denominations for material benefits.
Some others have returned to Hinduism in the Ghar Vapasi (returning home) programme organised by former Union Minister and Hindu propagandist Dilip Singh Judeo.
About six months back, 41 Catholic Gada families in Roopapli village under Basna parish formally became Hindus, as the local village authority belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party refused to give them Hindu Dalit certificates and threatened to order an inquiry into Catholics receiving government concessions.
Punith Sona, a young Catholic says, he wants to participate in the Ghar Vapasi programme to get the Hindu Dalit caste certificate. The Gada Dalit from Baelmundi village, Baloda parish, is anxious since the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) of Saraipali refused to issue him a Dalit certificate to avail government loan concession granted to Hindu Dalits.
"The SDM has been told that all Gadas of Baelmundi are Christians," the village assistant Sarpanch told SAR News.
"The problem (of not getting government grant) had been there earlier too, but it has become serious after the BJP came to power (in the state). They have posted their officials and workers in our region," said Father Mathew Valiyathara, the dean and parish priest of Pithora. He has been working in the region for more than 15 years.
Subhakar Gwal, another senior Gada catechist of Kutela parish said, Catholics from 3-4 villages did not turn up for the midnight Christmas Mass in their parish church at Kutela because they were told the government officials were spying in their villages.
Some villages have even asked the missioners not to come to their villages for offering the customary thanksgiving Mass after harvest.
"We feel bad because after so many years of our hard work, when it's time to bear fruit, people are abandoning the Faith," he added.
Christian Council Demands CBI Inquiry Into Forceful Conversion
BHUBANESWAR, Orissa (SAR NEWS) -- A premier Christian rights organisation has demanded an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation into forceful conversion of tribal Christians to Hinduism in this eastern Indian state.
The Global Council of Indian Christians alleged January 24 that the nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party and the fundamentalist Bajrang Dal activists were forcibly converting tribal Christians at gunpoint.
GCIC national convener Sajan K George told newspersons in the State capital that "forced conversion of tribal Christians into Hinduism in many parts of Orissa, particularly in western Orissa, be probed by the CBI as they are converted at a gun point by the radicals in clear violation of the Orissa Freedom of Religion Act."
CBI is the premier police agency of the Government of India with special thrust on anti-corruption work and special and economic crimes.
Mr. George alleged that the administrative machinery of the Orissa Government was being used by the radicals to intimate and convert the Christian people.
He said in Tumbai village under Gurundia police station in Sundargarh district, the tribal Christians were recently converted forcibly by the radicals. He accused former Union Minister and BJP State unit president Juel Oram of encouraging and funding the conversion of Christians into Hinduism in the state.
Mr. George said eight Christian families at Palsakutni village in Boudh district were evicted by Hindu fundamentalists who set ablaze their houses and belongings and threatened to kill them if they returned to the village. These panicked Christian families, he said, had taken shelter in dense forest since February 2005 even without bare necessities like food, clothing and medical treatment.
The GCIC convener accused the state government headed by Naveen Patnaik of ignoring the plight of the Christians. "The Christian families, who were assaulted in Kilipal and Kanimal villages in Jagatsinghpur district February 2004, are now facing starvation," he said.
This News is featured in Mangalorean.com