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Sister Thorn and Catholic Mysticism in Modern America$
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Paula M. Kane

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781469607603

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9781469607610_Kane

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A Notorious Case of Bleeding

(p.1) Introduction
Sister Thorn and Catholic Mysticism in Modern America

Paula M. Kane

University of North Carolina Press

This book begins with the story of a priest stationed in Manhattan who was becoming annoyed by the number of persons confiding to him in the confessional that they were having mystical manifestations. After encountering one particular individual, he advised the archbishop of New York to “cut the publicity or notoriety of a case which, in my mind, must be stamped ‘non probatus.’” The case referred to was that of a woman under his spiritual direction who was convinced that she had received the stigmata of Christ. This book examines her unlikely story—that of a Catholic woman from Manhattan who spent most of her adult life paralyzed and ill in a convent after claiming that she exhibited the bleeding wounds of the Passion and endured demonic torments because she accepted God's demand to suffer vicariously on behalf of others. After her death in 1937, this controversial sister was promoted by a group of American laypersons, bishops, priests, monks, nuns, and sisters as a candidate to become the first American saint.

Keywords:   confessional, mystical manifestations, archbishop of New York, stigmata of Christ, nun, Manhattan, sainthood

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