- Holy Wounds
The Five Holy Wounds or Five Sacred Wounds of Christ were the five piercing wounds inflicted upon
Jesusduring His crucifixion:
*Two of them were either through the hands or the lower wrists, between the radius and
ulna, where the nails of the cross-beam of the cross on which Jesus was crucified were inserted.
*Two were through the feet where the nail(s) [In
Eastern Christianity, the crucificion is traditionally depicted with Jesus' feet side by side, and a separate nail for each; in Western Christianity, the crucifixusually shows the two feet placed one above the other, and both pierced by a singl nail.] passed through both to the vertical beam. [Of all the thousands crucified by the Romans, skeletal remains of only one have so far been discovered by archeologists, and that one showed a nail piercing through the heel.]
*The final wound was in the side of Jesus' chest, where, according to the
New Testament, his body was pierced by a lancein order to be sure that he was dead. The Gospel of Johnstates that blood and water poured out of this wound ().
These wounds are not explicitly mentioned in any of the
canonical Gospelsuntil the Resurrection, although John the Evangeliststates that no bones were broken. In the course of His Passion, Jesus suffered other wounds as well, such as those from the crown of thornsand from the flagellation.
When consecrating an
altara number of Christian churches anointit in five places, indicative of the Five Holy Wounds. Eastern Orthodoxchurches will sometimes have five domes on them, symbolizing the Five Holy Wounds, and also Christ and the Four Evangelists.
The Holy Wounds have often been used as a symbol of
Christianity. Participants in the Crusadeswould often wear the Jerusalem cross, an emblem representing the Holy Wounds; a version is still in use today in the flag of Georgia.
The "Five Wounds" was the emblem of the "
Pilgrimage of Grace", a northern English rebellionin response to Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries.
Persons who have exhibited the Holy Wounds on their own boides are called
stigmatics, and are believed to enter into the Passion of Christ.
Holy Wound prayers
Roman Catholictradition includes specific prayers that focus on the Holy Wounds. An example is the " Rosary of the Holy Wounds" (also called the "Chaplet of Holy Wounds"), a rosarydevotion directed to Jesus, rather than the Virgin Mary. Like some other rosary based prayers(such as the Chaplet of Divine Mercy) it uses the usual rosary beads, but does not include the usual Mysteries of the Rosary.
The "Rosary of the Holy Wounds" was first introduced at the beginning of the 20th century by the
VenerableSister Mary Martha Chambon, a lay Roman CatholicSister of the "Monastery of the Visitation Order" in Chambery, Franceas a focus on the Holy Wounds of Jesus. [Ann Ball, 2003 "Encyclopedia of Catholic Devotions and Practices" ISBN 087973910X]
Relics attributed to Jesus
Rosary of the Holy Wounds
Anne Cecil Kerr, 1937, "Sister Mary Martha Chambon of the Visitation" B. Herder Publishing.
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