Samoan stigmatist tells of vision of heaven and hell

A Samoan woman claiming to have suffered stigmata wounds has told of a vision she has had of heaven and hell.

Toaipuapuaga Opapo Soana’i, 23, spoke during a Mass at the Catholic cathedral at Apia last week, the Samoa Observer reported.

She delivered a message that heaven and hell are real.

The young woman spoke of a vision she had on Good Friday, which came after several other visions in preceding days.

On Good Friday, she passed out while suffering the ordeal that saw the wounds appear.

She said God took her through hell and let her see the suffering people will endure if they don’t change their ways.

“People in hell are calling out for help, begging Jesus to save them, but there is nothing that can be done,” said Ms Opapo.

“God also took me to heaven, he let me see how magnificent that place is.”

She said she saw a gate guarded by angels with the book of life.

“I hear angels singing, there was laughter, there was happiness everywhere, children sitting on clouds, everything was white,” she claimed.

“I cried and thought to myself I am not ready to leave my family.”

It was at that point that she regained consciousness.

Ms Opapo is the daughter of a Congregational Church pastor.

A New Zealand religious expert said rapid social change and the challenge of new religious movements to mainstream Christianity in Samoa may have played a role in Ms Opapo’s wounds.

Professor Paul Morris of Victoria University told the ABC that the Congregational Church — the largest in Samoa — has undergone tremendous pressure over the last 15 to 20 years from other churches.

“In the history of stigmata incidents, they arise in a particular social reality and context and call those who are ebbing away from faith, back to faith,” Professor Morris said.

He allowed for the possibility that Ms Opapo’s wounds were psycho-somatic, “that intensity of identification . . . where a young woman or man identifies with Jesus to an extreme degree”.

“This auto-suggestibility [can] lead to this physical transformation.”

Professor Morris said it is very unusual, but not unheard of, for stigmata cases to occur outside the Roman Catholic Church.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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