FIFTEENTH CENTURY - THE CROWN OF THORNS BLEEDING
During this century the Church had to endure severe trials. But She was consoled by more than twenty canonized saints and other eminent servants of God, thirteen of whom received the stigmata or suffered the dolors of our Lord's passion. We enumerate those who are known to have received the impression of the Crown of Thorns in a supernatural manner.
7. Blessed Magdalene de Parateri
Magdalene was born at Trino, near Vercelli in Piedmont, Italy. We learn that she became a Dominican Nun. For many years, this holy religious, every Good Friday, was made to pass in a sensible and visible manner • through all the stages of our Lord's passion, received the stigmata of the Five Wounds with the impression of the Crown of Thorns. She died in the year 1503. Having been long venerated by the faithful as a saint, Pope Leo XII declared blessed Magdalene worthy of the honors of the altar in the year 1827. (See her life by father Peter Fondazuca, Milan 1644. Also Marchese 13th October)
8. Blessed Osanna Andrasia
God is wonderful in his saints ... and holy in all his works, says the Royal Prophet. As the perfections of God are infinite, and each of his divine attributes is essentially identified with the immensity of his nature; so the way in which God's wisdom can manifest the wonders of his power in any of his creatures, and more especially in his saints, are beyond the comprehension and calculation of created intelligence. Let us then believe and admire. We are taught by St. Paul that "there are diversities of graces distributed by the goodness of God to the souls of his elect, but all these things one and the same spirit worketh, dividing to every one according as he will." (1 Cor. 12:2)
In Blessed Osanna Andrasia we find an illustration of this principle of mystic theology. This admirable servant of God was born in the city of Mantua, Italy, on the 17th of January 1447. She became a member of the third Order of St. Dominic very early in life. On the 24th of February 1476, when twenty-seven years old, Sister Osanna received the miraculous impression of the Crown of Thorns. In the following year June 7th she was supernaturally pierced in her left side with the wound of the heart. The stigmata in her hands and feet appeared on Thursday in Passion Week of the third year. Her death occurred on June 18th, 1505.
Three years after her burial her virginal body was found incorrupt, and the miraculous wound in the side was as purple as if she were actually living. The other four stigmata in her hands and feet were clearly marked, and could be seen by the witnesses admitted on the occasion by ecclesiastical authority. Sister Osanna was beatified by Pope Leo X and declared, at the request of the people, patron saint of her native city of Mantua. The body of the saint is to this day, preserved incorrupt in the Cathedral Church of that ancient city. In the year 1871, the canons of the Cathedral chapter sent by request a certificate of the incorruptibility of B. Osanna's body to the distinguished French medical professor, A. Imbert Gourbeyere whom we have mentioned above. (See Bolland 55. 18th June)
9. Sister Clara of Bugni
This servant of God was born at Bugni, in Italy, in the year 1472, on the same day whereon St. Francis of Assisi came into this world. Through a special devotion towards this saraphic Patriarch, Clara became a member of the third Franciscan Order. She received the wound of the side, whence flowed blood exhaling an admirable preternatural odor. Some time after, this holy religious suffered also the miraculous impression of the Crown of Thorns and the stigmata in her hands and feet. Through her humble and earnest prayer, however, Clara obtained from our Lord the disappearance of the stigmata. But immediately after her holy death they were visible again. She died in the city of Venice in the year. 1514, on the 17th of September, being the day on which the Church commemorates the impression of the stigmata of her seraphic father St. Francis.
10. Vincentia Ferreria.
Vincentia was born at Valentia in Spain. She was a member of the third order of St. Dominic and she is known to have received the Crown of Thorns and to have died in the year 1515. (See Steill 18th April)
11. Blessed Stephana de Quinzani
Stephana was born on February 5th, 1457, in the town of Soncino, Italy. When very young, she became a Nun in the Order of St. Dominic. A few years after this holy religious received the impression of the Crown of Thorns, and successively the stigmata of the five Wounds. During forty years this admirable servant of God endured with heroic fortitude, every Friday, all the visible sufferings of our blessed Lord. The Crown of Thorns was for her the most painful. On the feast of the Holy Cross, the thorns of this miraculous crown, pressed by an invisible hand, penetrated her skull when, through the vehemence of pain, she was cast into an agony which lasted three days. This holy religious died 2nd January, 1530. (See Marchese and Steill)
12. Sister Johanna of the Cross
This great servant of God was born in the town of Cuba, near the city of Toledo, in Spain, in the year 1481. In her youth she embraced the religious state in the Order of St. Francis. Sister Johanna was forty years old when, on Good Friday in Holy Week, she received the stigmata which bled every Friday and Saturday, until the Feast of the Ascension of our Lord, diffusing a most agreeable odor. But in her humility, fearing lest this external manifestation of God's favor might become to her soul, an occasion of spiritual pride or vainglory, she warmly entreated our Lord to conceal them from the eyes of mankind. Her prayer was heard on condition of having the five wounds exchanged for the impression of the Crown of Thorns. During her frequent ecstasies, this holy religious spoke different languages. In Spain she was held in so high an esteem during her life, that she received many visits from persons, desirous of asking her advice. Among these were Gonzalvus of Cordova, Cardinal Ximenes and the Emperor Charles V. Sister Johannaof the Cross died in 1534 aged 53. (See Wading Hueber and Arturus)
Writing these historical sketches in America, we cannot pass from the fifteenth to the sixteenth century without mentioning the name of the celebrated mariner, and eminent servant of God, Christopher Columbus, a native of Genoa, Italy, whose superior genius and ardent zeal, gave a new world to Christianity. By the envy, treachery and and ingratitude of bad men, this grand discovery was platted for him into a crown of deep humiliations and intense suffering. We believe, however, that in heaven, Christopher Columbus has long ago received a brilliant crown from the hands of his Lord and Savior, whom he loved and served so well. We moreover cherish the hope that revived Christendom will soon do full justice to his merits and venerate his eminent virtue. May the whole American Continent, and the numerous islands which he discovered, become a crown of joy to the Church and precious jewels in the diadem of Columbus, who brought to them the standard and faith of Jesus Christ symbolized in his name.