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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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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 14 October 2019

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Modern Catholic Supernaturalism

Chapter:
(p.245) {7} Find Sweet Music Everywhere
Source:
Sister Thorn and Catholic Mysticism in Modern America
Author(s):

Paula M. Kane

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469607603.003.0008

This chapter examines how Sister Thorn's prolonged illness and death represented this cult of suffering to its fullest degree and honored the special sensitivity of women's bodies to divine contact. In the details of her demise, Margaret's supporters sought confirmation of her chosen status and of the spiritual meaningfulness of her pain. Even more than her model death, Sister Thorn's claim to be a stigmatic-visionary was being prepared to furnish a grander narrative—namely, Catholic attempts to enhance a relatively thin dossier history of mystical phenomena in the United States. By the 1930s, American Catholics had no national shrines nor any heritage of national pilgrimages such as the one that had evolved at Lourdes in France.

Keywords:   Sister Thorn, cult of suffering, Lourdes, divine contact, spiritual meaningfulness, pilgrimage, stigmatic-visionary

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