THERESE NEUMANN

1898-1962

Therese Neumann was born on Good Friday, April 8, 1898, in the small Bavarian town of Konnersreuth, West Germany, the eldest of 10 children. Strong and robust, she worked long, hard hours with her father on their farm in Fockenfield. She was very devout, and wanted to become a missionary sister in Africa, but God had a different vocation in mind for her.

On March 10, 1918, the same year that PADRE PIO received the Sacred Stigmata, a fire broke out on the farm and Therese helped lifting heavy buckets of water to a helper on top of the stable. After two hours of this, Therese's back gave out and she was confined to bed for awhile. Soon after this a series of falls plagued her, in which she ended up paralyzed and completely blind. After the accident that resulted in her blindness on March 10, 1918, other medical ailments assailed her: appendicitis, deafness, and difficulty breathing.

After several years of suffering like this (which Therese generously offered to God for the conversion of sinners), a series of miracles took place. On the day her namesake, Venerable Therese of Lisieux, was beatified by the Pope in Rome (April 29, 1923), Therese Neumann regained her eyesight; On May 17, 1925, the day Blessed Therese of Lisieux was canonized a Saint, Therese Neumann was completely healed of her paralysis and back ailments; On November 7, 1925, Therese was cured of her appendicitis; On November 19, 1926, her lungs were restored to health. All, she insisted, was granted by God through the intercession of St. Therese of Lisieux.

During Lent of 1926, Therese received the Stigmata, which was to be permanent even to her death. Among the usual Wounds of Christ in the hands, feet, and side, but this was just the beginning. Therese was also given 9 Wounds from the Crown of Thorns, Wounds from Jesus' Scourging at the Pillar, and the Wound of the Shoulder, torn open during the Scourging, and exacerbated by Jesus' Carrying of the Cross to Calvary. Having thus been stigmatized, Therese  regularly underwent the Passion of Jesus Christ on Fridays, and especially throughout Holy Week. She saw the entire Passion played out before her in vision during these episodes and she lived It as Jesus went through it. Whenever Therese observed Jesus being hurt in a way that drew Blood from Him, she bled profusely from her eyes, as can be see in the photos below.

  

The most heavily studied Stigmatist in history, Therese Neumann was an astonishment to science and the medical field. Doctors from all over the world attended her Passion Ecstasies, and those who came expecting to expose her as a fraud left as staunch believers. What especially mystified them was the quantity of blood she lost during these Ecstasies, and, at the moment Christ died on the Cross, the complete cessation of her breathing, heart, and brainwaves. This latter phenomenon, in which Therese was confirmed by the doctors as clinically dead, lasted 45 minutes, after which time she came back to life again.

Adolph Hitler was not one of Therese Neumann's devotees, however. Upon learning about the "Bloody Virgin of Konnersreuth", Hitler dispatched SS officers to her house to stop the goings on there or else arrest her. The SS went to the Neumann home in Konnersreuth on a Friday, when the events usually happened, and pounded on the door. The door was suddenly flung open, and standing there in the doorway was Therese in full stigmatization, her clothes completely drenched with blood, and blood gushing down her face from her eyes. She didn't need to speak a single word; the SS officers turned and fled and the Nazis never bothered her again.

Therese was one of the most extraordinarily gifted souls in Church history. In addition to the Stigmata and the Passion Ecstasies, she also had the gift of surviving on the Holy Eucharist alone (in Communion), and went without any other food or water from 1926 until her death in 1962. The medically community, of course, didn't believe this, and nurses were left with her 24/7 to make sure she wasn't sneaking nourishment when no one was looking. She wasn't. Therese also had the gift of bilocation (being in 2 places at once, like PADRE PIO), the reading of souls, visions, apparitions of Jesus, Mary, and various Saints, and prophecy.

Therese died on September 18, 1962 with over 10,000 present for her funeral. The cause for sainthood was begun in 1973, and her Beatification is currently being promoted.