Friday, April 22, 2011

Visiting the Stigmatics of South Tyrol on Good Friday via The Wellcome Library, Circa 1840




...In the 1840s there was a steady flow of foreign tourists and pilgrims to the idyllic valleys of [South Tyrol] ... solely to visit two women who were said to have received spontaneously bleeding wounds (stigmata) on their hands, feet, or head like those caused to Jesus Christ when he was nailed to the cross and forced to wear the crown of thorns. One of the two women was Maria Domenica Lazzari (sometimes spelled Lazzeri), and the other was Maria von Moehrl (also called Mörl). The former was known as L'Addolorata (the woman of pain), the latter as L'Estatica (the woman of ecstasy), for reasons which will become clear.
On this Good Friday -- the holiday commemorating Jesus Christ's death by crucification -- why not take a moment to consider the medio-religious condition of stigmata, ie. spontaneous bleeding (mostly found in the female persuasion) on the hands, feet, and/or head, mimicking the wounds caused to Jesus Christ when he was nailed to the cross and forced to wear the crown of thorns?

All of the above text and images are drawn from two recent fascinating posts on the Wellcome Library blog; To read the full articles, click here and here.

Happy Good Friday!

Images, top to bottom (please click images to view larger, more detailed versions):
  1. Maria Domenica Lazzari. Coloured engraving, ca 1840. Wellcome Library no. 260i
  2. Maria von Moehrl. Watercolour by L. Giuditti after L.G. de Ségur, 1846. Wellcome Library no. 708243i
  3. Maria Domenica Lazzari. Watercolour by L. Giuditti after L.G. de Ségur, 1846. Wellcome Library no. 708242i

1 comment:

John Magnet Bell said...

I've been browsing your blog for a bit, and while I can understand that people don't comment much -- your chosen subject matter is perhaps a bit grim -- I still believe you deserve more attention than you're getting.

Clearly, your blog is a labor of love. I found it through a feature on io9, and sure am glad I ended up here. The illustrations above are simply precious. Thanks for sharing.

From this day on, I'm one of your fans.