Therese Neumann


Therese Neumann

Therese Neumann (9 April 1898–18 September 1962) was a German Catholic mystic and stigmatic.

She was born on April 9, 1898 in the village of Konnersreuth in Bavaria, where she lived all her life. She was born into a large family with little income. She was a member of the Third Order of St. Francis.

Ailments

On March 10 1918, Therese Neumann was partially paralyzed after falling off a stool while attending to a fire in her uncle's barn. ["Life and Death of Therese Neumann, Mystic and Stigmatist", by Albert Vogl, ISBN 0533033799 ("Vogl"), p. 2] She sustained more falls and injuries during this period. After one particular fall she claimed to have lost much of her eyesight. In 1919, she was blinded completely. Bedridden, she reportedly developed horrible bed sores that sometimes exposed bone. ["Vogl", 3]

Therese reported that her eyesight was restored on April 29, 1923—the day Therese of Lisieux was beatified in Rome. Therese Neumann had been praying novenas in advance of this day. ["Vogl", p. 4] On May 17, 1925 Therese of Lisieux was fully canonized as a saint in the Catholic Church. Therese Neumann said the saint called to her and then cured her of her paralysis and bed sores. ["Vogl", p. 4,5]

On November 7, 1925 Neumann took to her bed again, and on November 13 was diagnosed with appendicitis. While prepared for surgery, she convulsed violently and stared at the ceiling finally saying, "Yes." She asked her family to take her to the church to pray immediately. She then announced that she had been cured of all traces of appendicitis. ["Vogl", pp. 5, 6]

tigmata

Therese would later claim to have the stigmata. She said that on March 5, 1926, the first Friday of Lent, a wound had appeared slightly above her heart, but that she had kept this secret. However, she did report a vision of Jesus at Mount Olivet with three Apostles. ["Vogl", p. 7]

On March 12, she said she had another vision of Christ at Mt. Olivet, along with the crowning of thorns. She also claimed that the wound above her heart reappeared on this day, and she spoke to her sister about it. She claimed the wound also reappeared on Friday of the following week. By March 26, she was claiming the same wound accompanied by a vision of Christ bearing the cross and a similar wound on her left hand. Blood was observed on her clothing, and she no longer attempted to keep the information to herself.

On Good Friday, Neumann according to her own testimony witnessed the entire Passion of Christ in her visions. She displayed wounds on her hands and feet accompanied by blood apparently coming from her eyes. Blood poured from the wounds, however - according to Neumann-critic Josef Hanauer's book "The Swindle of Konnersreuth" - onlookers did not actually see the bleeding in action, only the blood itself. [Hanauer, Josef, "The Swindle of Konnersreuth, A Never-Ending Scandal". [http://www.indian-skeptic.org/html/hanauer/swindle-of-konnersreuth-contents.html Online text] , webpage found 2007-10-23.] However, according to author Albert Paul Schimberg, many persons observed her wounds bleeding and these witnesses were by no means limited to her immediate family and Fr. Josef Naber. By 3 p.m. that day, her parish priest Fr. Josef Naber was summoned to give Neumann the Last Rites. By 4 o'clock, her condition improved. The wounds on her feet and hands were observed when she was bathed.

On Easter Sunday, she claimed a vision of the resurrection of Christ. For several consecutive Fridays after that, she stated she was experiencing the Passion of Christ, supposedly suffering in her own body along with all his historic agonies. She especially suffered the Passion on Good Fridays each year.

By November 5, 1926, she displayed nine wounds on her head as well as wounds on her back and shoulders. According to several sources these wounds never healed or became infected and were found on her body at death.

Inedia

From the years of 1922 until her death in 1962, Therese Neumann said she had consumed no food other than The Holy Eucharist, and to have drunk no water from 1926 until her death. ["Vogl", p. 17] This phenomenon, commonly referred to as inedia, is sometimes claimed by persons who aspire to a reputation of holiness.Fact|date=February 2008

In July 1927 a medical doctor and four Franciscan nurses kept a watch on her 24 hours a day for a two-week period. They confirmed that she had consumed nothing except for one consecrated sacred Host a day, and had suffered no ill effects, loss of weight, or dehydration. Urine testing two weeks after daily surveillance was dropped, are said to have indicated, however, that she may have begun eating and drinking normally.Fact|date=June 2008 Montague Summers in the "Physical Phenomenon of Mysticism" [ [http://books.google.com/books?id=R7x5S3nvjOcC&pg=PA245&lpg=PA245&dq=theresa+Neumann,+little+flowers&source=web&ots=sC_6jY0hzO&sig=OsV7vUpgc9ae-EQahirHEx6cvFc&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=6&ct=result] ] speaks of her supernatural ability to survive for long periods without food or water. He supported this claim by citing an article about Therese Neumann in the January 5, 1940 "The Universe" which said the peasant woman refused German ration cards saying she had no need of food and drink.During some of her Friday trances, she would utter phrases identified by witnesses (including priests) as ancient Aramaic. She was also said to have been able to understand Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. ["Vogl", pp. 48,49]

Miscellaneous

During the Third Reich, Therese Neumann was the target of ridicule and defamation, as the Nazis knew about her dissenting views and feared her growing popularity. She was observed by the Gestapo. [Vogel, ibidem, pp. 77.] She was never physically harmed, though her family home, parish church and priest's house all received direct attacks. She encouraged Fritz Gerlich to continue his opposition to Hitler and his national-socialist party. Mr. Gerlich was subsequently killed for his opposition.

wikisourcepar|Autobiography_of_a_Yogi/Chapter_39|Therese Neumann, The Catholic Stigmatist of BavariaParamahansa Yogananda visited her and wrote about her case in his book "", published in 1946. He wrote an entire chapter, , which reverently gives a vivid first-hand description of one of her Friday Passion trances.

On September 18, 1962, Therese Neumann died from cardiac arrest, after having suffered from Angina Pectoris for some time.

The Roman Catholic Church has confirmed neither the inedia (from which she suffered according to her critics), nor her stigmata and has in the past discouraged pilgrimages to Konnersreuth. The "Resl", as she is colloquially known, nonetheless attained a place in popular piety — a petition asking for her beatification was signed by 40,000 people. In 2005, Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Bishop of Regensburg, formally opened the Vatican proceedings for her beatification.

ee also

*Fasting girls

Notes

Further reading

*"Therese Neumann A Stigmatist of Our Days", by Friedrich Ritter von Lama
*"Further Chronicles of Therese Neumann", by Friedrich Ritter von Lama
*"Life and Death of Therese Neumann, Mystic and Stigmatist", by Albert Vogl, ISBN 0533033799
*"Mystical Phenomena in the Life of Threresa Neumann", by Most Reverend Josef Teodorowicz translated by Rev. Rudolph Kraus, Ph.D., S.T.D.
*"The Story of Theresa Neumann", by Albert Paul Schimberg
*"The Case of Therese Neumann", by Hilda C. Graef
*"The Visions of Therese Neumann", by Johannes Steiner
*"Theresa Neumann: A Portrait Based on Authentic Accounts, Journals and Documents", by Johannes Steiner
*"What about Therese Neumann: A concise background for and analysis of the critical reception accorded Hilda C. Graef's the case of Therese Neumann", by Leonard J. Fick

External links

* [http://www.thereseneumann.de/thereseenglish/index.htm Therese Neumann of Konnersreuth]


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