Debate over Samoan woman’s stigmata

A young woman claiming to have received stigmata wounds is sparking vigorous debate in Samoa.

A woman named in Samoan media as Toaipuapuaga Opapo Soana’i, 23, played the part of Jesus in a Sunday School Easter play.

People noticed wounds appearing on her body.

She had wounds on her feet and hands, as well as on her side and head.

The woman, who is the daughter of a church minister, told local media she began seeing visions days before Easter.

Video footage of the play shows congregation members approaching the front of the church, where she had collapsed, to fan her, the New Zealand Herald reported.

Video footage of Ms Soana’i, who spoke to TV1 Samoa about her experience, was posted on the group Samoa Mo Samoa.

As of late on March 31, the footage had been viewed more than 20,000 times and attracted hundreds of comments.

On Friday night, Ms Soana’i spoke at the Catholic cathedral in Apia, where she was greeted by Archbishop Alapati Lui Mataeliga.

She told the cathedral congregation that her experience in the last few days is a message from God for Samoa to repent.

Her claims about her wounds have sparked huge debate in the highly religious island nation.

Members of the public have taken to social media to discuss the authenticity of the woman’s claims.

Many people are backing Ms Soana’i, calling the event a miracle.

Many others, however, are sceptical, and many are saying it is a hoax.

Fears were expressed in social media comments that the young woman has suffered self harm.

Famous stigmatists include St Francis of Assisi, St Catherine of Sienna, St John of God and St Pio of Pietrelcina.


Additional reading

News category: Asia Pacific.

Tags: , , , ,