People gathered in the funeral of Therese Neumann, 1962.

People gathered in the funeral of Therese Neumann, 1962.
People gathered in the funeral of Therese Neumann, 1962.Therese Neumann (8 or 9 April 1898 – 18 September 1962) was a German Catholic mystic and stigmatic. She was born in the village of Konnersreuth in Bavaria, Germany, where she lived all her life. She was born into a large family with little income. She was a member of the Third Order of St. Francis. On 10 March 1918, Therese Neumann was partially paralyzed after falling off a stool while attending to a fire in her uncle's barn.[1] She sustained more falls and injuries during this period. After one particular fall she claimed to have lost much of her eyesight, and in 1919 she claimed to have been blinded completely. Bedridden, she reportedly developed horrible bed sores that sometimes exposed bone.[2] Therese reported that her eyesight was restored on 29 April 1923—the day Therese of Lisieux was beatified in Rome. Therese Neumann had been praying novenas in advance of this day.[3] On 17 May 1925 Therese of Lisieux was fully canonized as a saint in the Catholic Church. Therese Neumann said the saint called to her and then cured her of her paralysis and bed sores.[4] On 7 November 1925 Neumann took to her bed again, and on 13 November claimed to have been diagnosed with appendicitis. According to her account, while prepared for surgery she convulsed violently and stared at the ceiling finally saying, "Yes." She asked her family to take her to the church to pray immediately. She then announced that she had been cured of all traces of appendicitis.[5] Therese would later apparently develop the stigmata. She said that on 5 March 1926, the first Friday of Lent, a wound had appeared slightly above her heart, but that she had kept this secret. However, she did report a vision of Jesus at Mount Olivet with three Apostles.[6] On 12 March, she said she had another vision of Christ at Mt. Olivet, along with the crowning of thorns. She also claimed that the wound above her heart reappeared on this day, and she spoke to her sister about it. She claimed the wound also reappeared on Friday of the following week. By 26 March, she was claiming the same wound accompanied by a vision of Christ bearing the cross and a similar wound on her left hand. Blood was observed on her clothing, and she no longer attempted to keep the information to herself. On Good Friday, Neumann, according to her own testimony witnessed the entire Passion of Christ in her visions. She displayed wounds on her hands and feet accompanied by blood apparently coming from her eyes. Blood poured from the wounds, however - according to Josef Hanauer's book The Swindle of Konnersreuth - onlookers did not actually see the bleeding in action, only the blood itself.[7] By 3 p.m. that day, her parish priest Fr. Josef Naber was summoned to give Neumann the Last Rites. By 4 o'clock, her condition improved. The wounds on her feet and hands were observed when she was bathed.[citation needed] On Easter Sunday, she claimed a vision of the resurrection of Christ. For several consecutive Fridays after that, she stated she was experiencing the Passion of Christ, apparently suffering in her own body along with all his historic agonies. She claimed to have especially suffered the Passion on Good Friday each year. By 5 November 1926, she displayed nine wounds on her head as well as wounds on her back and shoulders. According to several sources these wounds never healed or became infected and were found on her body at death.[citation needed] Scientists and skeptics do not believe that Neumann performed genuine miracles. According to skeptical investigator Joe Nickell on one occasion Neumann claimed to have healed herself from blindness, but whilst "blind" she was examined and her pupils responded normally to light. Nickell suspected that Neumann's claims were performed by "hysterical hypochondria" or "outright fakery".[14] By 1928 the church authorities had investigated Neumann's alleged stigmata. A professor who was monitoring her noted that blood would only appear from her wounds when he was asked to leave the room. He reported the behavior as suspicious commenting that something "needed to be hidden from observation."[14] A psychoanalytic study of Neumann has suggested that her stigmata resulted from post-traumatic stress symptoms expressed in unconscious self-mutilation through abnormal autosuggestibility.[15] Researcher Ian Wilson found the inedia claims of Neumann suspicious. He noted that "Therese had a vigorous, stocky build throughout most of this time, and all reason tells us that it would be impossible to survive so long without food or drink."[16]people, men, women, gathered, street, funeral, together, standing, umbrellas, buildings, trees, 1962

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