Therese Neumann's fame start with her receiving the wounds in the year 1926. The question of stigmatisation is not a theological one, but a medical problem; it is up to the physician to make the crucial investigations and judgements. Some excellent literature is available. Let us mentioned some which appeared after World War II.
In the year 1948 Professor Dr. med. Franz Schleyer published his book "The Stigmatisation with the Wounds of Christ" (Die Stigmatisation mit den Wundmalen). In its first section it relates the most important details concerning 63 stigmatised persons, among them Therese Neumann from Konnersreuth. Then he discusses the, "symptoms of stigmatisation" and the "phenomena connected with stigmatisation". A chapter is dedicated to "medical opinions on the problem of stigmatisation" and the heading of the last one reads "The theological evaluation of the stigmatisation."
Two French physicians deal with Therese Neumann only in connection with topics they investigate. In the year 1952 the book "Mystiques and False Mystiques" (Mystiques et faux mystiques) was published by the neurologist and psychiatrist Jean Lhermitte. In the year 1957 Rène Biot published his work: "The Mystery of the Stigmatised" (Das Rätsel der Stigmatisierten)
An overview from 1960 by the dermatologists Borelli and Fürst gives, by refering to a collection of cases, an outline of the physical and psychological bases (and prerequisites) of the genesis of stigmata. Schleyer again in 1962 summarised the scientific insights on the morphology of the bleeding phenomena, the modifications in the skin of stigmatised persons and the psychological base. Exhaustive bibliographical references for the history of the stigmatisation, the individual cases, the medical analysis of the striking and bleeding phenomena and the psychopathology of the stigmatised are plentiful available through the quoted literature as well as already in the book by Thurston.
Within this book here the complex details of "stigmatisation" as far as they are beyond the case of Therese Neumann are of no concern. Therefore references to the numerous paralleling cases of proven artefacts of bleedings and wounds in the history of stigmatisation as well as to important non-Catholic cases will be avoided. The topic of stigmatisation is looked upon only, because interested circles aim at a beatification of Therese Neumann. But what is known about her wounds does speak not for but against her.
With Therese Neumann something which is related only incidentally is remarkable: That already a long time before the stigmatisation she was inclined towards bleedings, in particular to aqueous blood flowing from the eyes. Thus she told the minister Leopold Witt, that already near 1923 to 1924 her eyes had been bleeding, the blood however seeped only "rarely and only drop by drop"; neither she nor her physician Dr. Seidl paid much attention to it.
In a letter written on November 7 1924 Therese Neumann speaks of blood flowing repeatedly from her eyes. Once she says, her eyes "were quite sealed from many bleedings". Later she describes an "abscess at here head" and then continues: "My eyes burn fiercely. That constant sharp hotness of the blood, where the eyelids always become quite sore, because the wound did not heal yet. The eyes bleed constantly a little, particularly, if I even very slightly move the head." Then she speaks of bleedings without closer specification where these occurred; that her mother often had to change the bed linen "because of the bleeding". Also in her letter of June 16 1925 she mentions bleedings. There she first speaks of help received by the St. Theresia and then continues: "But I am not yet healthy yet, y' know, the other suffering, which comes from the blood, did stay with me." The family doctor of the Neumann family, Dr. Seidl, knew about her tendency for bleedings from the ears and from the neck already from the time, when she was paralysed.
A note in the medical report, which Dr. Seidl wrote in the year 1926, seems remarkable. Around February 16 he was summoned to Therese, because the condition of the patients worsened. "She complained about violent headache and about generally feeling ill." On a further attendance the physician could observe "a slightly blood coloured liquid flowing out of her eyes"; which he called "only an outline of bleeding". Dr. Seidl regarded the illness as influenza. He says "as I made this observation the thought flashed annoyingly through my head: 'She will not now additionally get stigmatised, will she?'19." As was soon to turn out the thought of the physician was quite justified. It seems remarkable that Dr. Seidl was informed about the bleedings from the eyes and wounds which occurred later, neither by minister Naber nor by the parents of Therese; also nobody did inform him about the events of Good Friday 1926, although Therese was provided on this day with the last sacraments.
One could assume that Therese Neumann's developing of the wounds happened in close relationship to the contemplation of the suffering of Christ. Concerning this question the details given to us are, as they are on other topics, contradictory. The "believers" read the one and the other one, but they do not seem to notice the contradictions.
Therese Neumann assured the minister Leopold Witt that the prayer about the Way of the Cross, "already early belonged to her dearest prayers". Minister Naber confirmed that she gladly prayed the Way of the Cross. According to Anni Spiegl Therese contemplated preferentially the suffering of Christi "at the long sleepless nights" during her suffering time up to the miraculous healing. Archbishop Teodorowicz maintains exactly the opposite to be the case. He says that it is "known by everyone" that "during her illness of many years she did not contemplate the suffering of Christ". To support this claim he points explicitly to what the stigmatised herself told him: "that she did not possess a special devotion for suffering of Christi before the stigmatisation and did not at all contemplate the suffering of Christ"; she knew "especially nothing about stigmata and the stigmatised"; "neither before nor after the stigmatisation" did she occupy herself with the "contemplation of the suffering of our Lord".
Boniface expresses himself in similar ways: "Never has she heard any reports about stigmata." Can one can believe that up to the age of 28 she didn't hear anything about it? Did she never notice the picture of the St. Francis on one of the church windows in Konnersreuth? Did she never read something about the stigmatised? She affirmed to the archbishop of Lemberg, to have read nothing about Katharina Emmerick, the well-known stigmatised from Dülmen. On January 13 1953 she gave under oath the following information about the publications which she liked to read in former times. Among other things she calls the magazine "Messenger of the Divine Heart of Jesus" (Sendbote des göttlichen Herzen Jesu) and the work "Christian-catholic magazine for the Home" (Christkatholische Hauspostille) by Leonhard Goffiné her favourite readings. In the magazine by Goffiné there is a paper about St. Francis; also one reads there about his wounds. From the magazine "Messenger" only two volumes shall e mentioned here. An essay in the March number of the year 1918 has as it's topic "the suffering flower from Coesfeld"; it reports about Katharina Emmerick, the "seer" from Coesfeld, who was honoured with the wounds. In the year 1924 a series of articles about Katharina Emmerick was published; among other things there her wounds are mentioned and her "vicarious suffering". Did Therese Neumann ignore exactly these among all the narrations?
At the hearing under oath in Eichstätt Therese Neumann delivered still another assurance; she confirmed: "I never read books concerning visions of the blessed Katharina Emmerick and the like in my life." This is a straight lie - which is already strongly suggested by a comparing: A very important part of the "Konnersreuth phenomena" is an obvious copy of those of Katharina Emmerick. If one also compares the visions of Katharina Emmerick with those of Therese Neumann, then one encounters even within extravagant scenes most remarkable parallels so that it is extremely doubtful whether only coincidence was at work here20.
In fact even minister Naber testifies that Therese Neumann was very well informed about Katharina Emmerick. On August 8 1929 George Liesch, at that time still a student of theology, was in Konnersreuth for the first time; during the years he visited the place more than twenty times, the last was a ten day visit in August 1974. Despite some doubts he believed up to then, that miraculous thing might be happening. But then Paulus turned into Saulus: When, while reading the book "Konnersreuth as a Test Case", he encountered the statements, which the stigmatised had given under oath in the year 1953 in Eichstätt, he stopped and was surprised. He remembered the topic of "Therese Neumann and Anna Katharina Emmerick" differently. He reached for his note book and reread, what he had noted on that August 8 1929. There he encountered an entry concerning a discussion which ministers Naber had had with him and some more priests. Among other things the minister told: "I got for the Resl the Visions of Katharina Emmerick, in order to have myself led by these visions, and the Resl reads the same with great eagerness." The minister then retold the words of Therese Neumann, which she used to describe her predecessor: "Poor girl, y' had to suffer just as much as I do"21. The fact that Therese Neumann didn't tell the truth about her knowledge of Anna Katherina Emmerick is obvious.
Remember the assertions by Therese Neumann that she "neither before nor after the stigmatisation" dealt with contemplation of the suffering of Christi. Did she do it afterwards? On January 16 1953 she stated under oath: "If I hear of the suffering of Christi this it attacks me mentally after a short time in such a way that I get strong heart complaints and I become unconscious." In the publications no indication is given that Therese Neumann became unconscious by praying the rosary or Way of the Cross; this could not occur alone for the reason that she did not practice these prayers. This is proven by a further statement under oath; she says that cardinal Faulhaber calmed her down, by explaining to her that she therefore doesn't have to make self-reproaches if she "forgoes the mentioned forms of prayer"22. Isn't that strange? She was not able to contemplate the Way of the Cross without getting heart complaints, but she didn't get such complaints while viewing the passion of Good Friday, which were allegedly accompanied with enormous losses of blood, also she did not get unconscious although she followed through the whole passion of Jesu!
On which Fridays did Therese Neumann follow Jesus on his Way of the Cross23? On can not give an exact answer to this question because the authors contradict each other all too much. The following times are indicated as being free from sufferings: Advent until Sunday Septuagesima; from Easter up to Christ's Ascension Day; Fridays, on which a festive day fell or on which was celebrated an apostle's feast or a feast of the holy Mary; also some weeks in August and September. In these months however suffering did not fail, if bishops came to an attendance to Konnersreuth. Thus there was no late summer break for Therese in the year 1928; in this time several times bishops which wanted to be witnesses of the ecstasies were present in Konnersreuth on Fridays. Also the break in Advent was interrupted, when the American bishop Schrembs stayed in Konnersreuth on Friday December 23. 1927.
On the other hand it also occurred that the Friday suffering failed on days which usual were passion days, if Therese considered another occupation more important for example a journey into beautiful areas of her own or a foreign country. In the middle of September 1934 she began a longer journey, in which she became acquainted mainly with Switzerland; at that time it was announced that she would be absent for two or three months. On October 3. 1936 she began a journey, which led her into Austria and Switzerland; she remained abroad at least four weeks. Also on other occasion she was spared the the suffering, if she wanted to undertake a travel exactly on Friday. Therefore we face the strange fact: Whether the Friday passion took place or it didn't was always well suited to the demands of the stigmatised.
In the course of time the Fridays of suffering were reduced appreciably. The passion failed for example, if Therese was "exhausted too much by illness or vicarious suffering". At the age of 50 years Friday ecstasies occurred only on Fridays of Lent and on Fridays celebrating the Heart of Jesus. Therese was once asked "How is it that the ecstasies of suffering became so rare?" The telling response reads: "I want to be left alone by them at last!"2. Through this she answered the question, to whom she owed the granted peace. One is forced to the same conclusion by an utterance from minister Naber already made in the year 1930 to the rector August Licht, when he asked the question, how long the passion persists. The minister gave the information that "it depends on the larger or smaller quantity of the visitors".
As contradictory as Therese Neumann's own statements about the form of the stigmata are those of visitors in Konnersreuth. In the year 1953 Therese stated under oath, that at the Good Friday of the year 1927 the wounds at the hands and feet had taken a square form. This is incorrect; for many years the marks had a roundish form. During the Lent of 1928 Professor Dr. Gemelli, who was not only a physician, but also a theologian (Franciscan friar) and a temporary rector of the University of Milan, made an attendance at Konnersreuth. He writes in his report on his impressions from there concerning the form of the wounds: "They are round and as large as a small coin on the back of the hand, somewhat oblong and much smaller on the palm."
The physician Dr. Witry wrote six years after the forming of the stigmata: "I collected the observation of all physicians since the stigmatisation. All show modifications." The modification was noticed by Professor Dr. Killermann from Regensburg already in the year 1927. In August 1926 he found on the back of the hand of the stigmatised "red, disk-shaped spots with sharp borders, approximately as large as a two-Mark coin, like sealing wax pressed on, somewhat raised over the level of the remaining skin or like moles". In the next year Killermann was again in Konnersreuth; he now wrote: "To my surprise I found the marks this time smaller, about as big as a 50-Pfennig-coin and not as raised as in the previous year."
Dr. Seidl always saw the wounds on the same level as the surface; they did not penetrate beyond the thickness of the skin. School supervisor Dr. Miller during his attendance in Konnersreuth in the year 1927 gentle stroke over the hand wounds of the stigmatised; he says: "They were only skin which had superficial turning red and did not penetrate into the hypodermis." Quite different is the description of the physician Dr. Witry; he says: "The whole substantial structure rose about 2.5 millimetres in a plate-like relief over the surrounding skin. The sloping edges were steep and high on all sides. The stigmata appeared to rise like volcanos from the centre of the back of the hand." In contrast to this the Viennese Professor Dr. Matzinger said that during his attendance in Konnersreuth in the year 1937 he noticed "nothing extraordinary"; he thought to see only "traces of stigmatisation on the hands"25. One gets a completely different impression if one looks at the back of the right hand of the deceased Therese Neumann; there the remarkably volcanic eye mark described by Dr. Witty in the year 1932 shows up26.
Soon after Ascension Day 1938 Mrs. M. Hartmann from Breslau stayed in Konnersreuth. In her report on what she experienced one reads: "On the hands nothing indicating a stigma was to be seen." When Therese noticed me, she hid the hands (as in the morning). I can affirm by oath that she did not had any stigmata27." It is understandable that a visitor only rarely succeeded in having a similar experience. Usually the visitors directed their attention only toward the back of the hand of the stigmatised, much less on the palms. The fact that Therese did not always have a mark particularly on this place is even proved by a published colour photography. In the year 1968 the Friedrich Feilner publishing house in Munich made several colour photos. On one of the pictures the palm of the right hand can be seen. The lines of the hand can be detected clearly, but one doesn't see anything of a wound, even with a magnifying glass, although the palm measures approximately 24 millimetres.
The head cloths, which Therese Neumann wore in each case on Fridays, show eight large blood marks, which allegedly derived from head wounds. On January 15. 1953 Therese assured under oath: "I also note that in the same year (1926) in addition to the one mentioned so far the head wounds turned up in the same way as the others, as constant wounds." These "constant wounds" were never discovered. In spring 1928 Professor Gemelli visited Konnersreuth. His medical certificate of May 20. 1928 reads: "I also examined the hairy scalp and there I also noticed no change." On February 19. 1930 minister Naber directed the attention of the Nuntiaturrat Dr. Brunelli to the head cloth of the stigmatised: "You see, here are eight marks; because Therese also has eight wounds on the head. "Can one can see them? ", Brunelli asked. Whereupon Naber said: They are small, I also never saw them."
Assuming that there were no wounds, then where did the blood come from? The observation of visitors gives a hint. In the year 1927 three persons stayed in Konnersreuth; Dr. Wilhelm Alfred Miller, medical superintendent Dr. Stephan and Ms Isenkrahe. They wanted to observe the beginning of the passion on Friday. Minister Naber however did not permit this. He apologised, noting that Thereses' parents would be against it. While these three visitors later stayed in the room of the stigmatised, they noticed that she reached out for her head and rubbed it "violently". Other witnesses report similar things. Johannes Steiner also writes about the mentioned process: "One could see the hands moving to the head and trying to draw the thorns out." Anni Spiegl expresses herself similarly: "Therese, after having seen the coronation with thorns, strove to pull the thorns out exactly in the places, in which the white head cloth showed fresh traces of blood." At Palm Sunday 1980 bishop Graber remembered his first attendance in Konnersreuth; at that time he observed, that Therese, made "again and again hand movements "as if she wants to pull herself thorns from the scalp"; the Resl made the impression of a dying person and lost enormous amounts of blood."
On the occasion of 25. anniversary of the death of the Therese Neumann the Bavarian television transmitted a film arranged by Max von Rößler. On October 22. 1987 a specialist for forensic medicine and analyses of blood traces indicated to me his impression of the head cloth shown there: "These alleged blood traces consisted of pinhead-sized, isolates points. Now however each specialist knows that already the smallest blood marks on linen spread immediately and produce a much larger blood penetration of the material, than one would expect. An example the menstruation, which is often described by the women, as 'very strong', but amounts normally to only about 40, at the most 80 millilitre of blood. If one considers thus that Therese Neumann claims to have bleed at least for hours from that 'head-wounds', then the used cloths would have had to be totally sucked with blood - compare for instance the enormous thick blood crusts on the face from the alleged 'eye-bleedings'. Instead of this there are only point-like pale spots on an otherwise clean cloth! It is therefore reasonable to concluded that the alleged head-traces were artificially manufactured for the purpose of demonstration and that no wounds on the head have existed."
In addition one only has to stress again that none ever saw head wounds. It is exactly the same with the shoulder wound. According to the claims the wounds on the right shoulder of the stigmatised occurred for the first time during the Lent of 1929. She complained already on March 23. 1928 about pain coming from there; it was the day, on which the bishop of Regensburg with some companions had appeared in Konnersreuth. After they left the place, Therese, had "agonising pain in the right shoulder as an vicarious suffering for someone, who was present on this day, and according to what she told, did not want to acknowledge the existence of the shoulder wound". But why should the visitors acknowledge somewhat which was missing, and why had their attitude to be atoned for?
One finds pictures in writings on Konnersreuth, on which the whole body laundry of the stigmatised appears blood-stained. The blood is said to have proceeded from scourge wounds, which showed up for the first time on Good Friday 1929 and which then appeared each year on the same time again. On Good Friday the stigmatised bleeds all over the body. Boniface writes "On this day her whole body is striped from red, raised and bleeding weals." Boniface claims this; he saw the wounds just as little as anybody else did28.
There are many Konnersreuth visitors, who testify, to have seen blood but there is no reliable observer, who even once has seen flowing blood, really flowing blood, and this during a period of approximately 35 years! If this fact was mentioned, Therese Neumann could react very excited. Dr. Josef Engert professor of theology at Regensburg had published an essay on Therese Neumann in the "Korrespondenz- und Offertenblatt" in February 1939. She complained in her letter of March 14. 1939 to bishop Buchberger among other things about the sentence: "Bleeding starts always, if nobody is present is." In order to disprove this she writes: "If it must be, we publicly call to witness against this the Most Reverend cardinal Faulhaber, prince archbishop Waitz, the bishop von Speyer and others, who all where present, at the beginning of the suffering even at night. Medical advisor Seidl even observed the beginning of the bleeding of the heart wound with a glass." The Jesuit Dr. Carl Sträter stated in his speech, which he held on September 21. 1972 in Konnersreuth: "Out of the numerous persons, who saw Therese in their suffering, many could observe the actual bleeding of the wounds. For example Dr. Gerlich, Dr. Hynek, archbishop Teodorowicz, canon Dr. Reichenberger, P. Gemelli OFM, professor Ewald." What Therese Neumann and P. Sträter claim, is false; the observers saw in each case blood, however never flowing blood. For example Sträter could have informed himself about what Dr. Gemelli real saw; Gemelli's report is among the documents, which he studied; the text is also in the book, "Konnersreuth as case of test"29. Gemelli stressed repeatedly that he never saw blood flowing; for example he wrote: "I repeat that indeed I never saw the blood flowing out, neither from the, 'stigmata', nor from the eyes, nor from the head, I have only seen clotted blood."
Therese Neumann likewise does an injustice to Dr. Seidl by calling him out as witness. In his medical report of the year 1926 to the bishop of Regensburg he writes that nobody has observed the development of the bleedings, not even the parents of the stigmatised. He states, "The parents are sent off by the female patient on Thursday nights at 11.00 o'clock. If then the mother checks at night at 1.00 o'clock, the bleedings are already there." After these words the physician speaks about his own observations: "I could observe only partly the beginning of the bleeding from the chest wound at the night of May 13 to 14. With the magnifying glass I saw at that time appear an aqueous liquid forming droplets similar to sweat from the wound which had no epidermis and about ten small points of blood. In addition, this investigation was not made with the safeguard clauses, which would perhaps have been necessary, because at that time I first directed my whole attention towards the first accessible wounds at the hands and feet, which did not bleed by the way at that time and do not bleed since then any more. ... The bleedings from the eyes occurred on this day only after my leave. Regarding the bleedings from the eyes, I could only see the outline of a start - during the the development of the illness occurring on Shrovetide, which I categorised as Influenza. ... Here It must also be stressed that the many visitors do not see real bleeding. They see only strips of clotted blood running from the inner and outer eye angles towards the nose or towards the ears, additionally the blood-impregnated canvas strips, which were put over the heart wound and the there mildly blood-stained shirt. Also when the bleedings at the hands and feet still existed, as often as I had the opportunity to observe, one could not call it a leaking out of blood. One rather saw only that the canvas patches which were put over the wounds were blood-impregnated30."
Like Dr. Seidl other observers experienced neither the beginning of blood withdrawal nor did they see blood flowing. On March 22. and 23. 1928 bishop Buchberger as well as bishop Hierl, professor Dr. Martini, professor Dr. Killermann, professor Dr. Stöckl and professor Dr. Hilgenreiner stayed in Konnersreuth. Killerman and Hilgenreiner should observe the beginning of Friday's passion on behalf of the bishop. They did not manage to. Usually the visions began on Thursday about 23.45 o'clock. At 23.25 o'clock minister Naber led the two professors into the room of the stigmatised. On the way he expressed the fear, that they could be too late. Why did he suddenly have this suspicion? After all it was he who determined the time of their departure. It was nevertheless the way Naber had assumed; while the three men arrived the passion already was under way; the eyes were already filled with blood, which was otherwise never the case at this time. For example when cardinal Kaspar was present on March 21. 1929, the visions indeed began at 23.40 o'clock; but only during the fourth vision, thus some time after midnight, he noticed that the lower lids became brick-red. Steiner's report is similar, i.e. that only considerable time after midnight, first "aqueous tears" formed in the eyes, which only gradually turned red31. But when in the year 1928 the scientists which were sent by the bishop wanted to observe the beginning of the bleedings, they began already a long time before midnight.
In the year 1927 the psychiatrist Dr. Eduard Margerie in company of the then assistant medical director the the institute for welfare and maintenance in Bayreuth was twice in Konnersreuth. Both could determine, "no bleedings", but in each case "clotted blood". More detailed observations or investigations were not possible for them, as Dr. Margerie assures: "I could not observe the wounds on the head, as little as the heart-wound and the wounds at the feet, because minister Naber resisted ... an investigation.32"
There exists not one certification by a physician who would have seen, of the wounds on the head, the wound on the shoulder or the scourging-wounds. Concerning the wound on the side, it must be said that only reports of the physicians Dr. Seidl and professor Ewald exist. After 1928 no other physician delivered his own appraisal. What has been said later about the side wound, depends wholly on what Therese Neumann or their relatives told. But what did they really see? Gerlich assures, that Thereses' parents never saw the heart-wound and also never demanded to see it33. Actually this statement is quite reliable; but according to the reports Therese was washed with lukewarm water after the end of the Friday's passion by her mother, who also in each case changed the dressing; on this occasion the heart-wound could not at all have been overlooked.
If there is nothing to be hidden and if everything is proper too, then the proof for a claimed supernatural process must not be made impossible. Exactly this occurred however, for example, when in March 1928 bishop Buchberger with its companions stayed in Konnersreuth. As long as Professor Killermann could observe at that time, the wounds did not change in the least. But it was impossible to observe unhindered; again and again the parents of the Therese stepped between them. That was the case, when the mother went to bed of her daughter, in order to be somehow "helpful". She did it in such a way that Killermann could "no longer observe". Then the mother retreated form of the bed, and much to his astonishment, he noticed "that the wound on the hands, which were always dry beforehand, now were bleeding"34.
Other observers made experiences similar to Killermann's. The appraisal by Professor Martini reads: "I could never see that the wounds of Therese Neumann really bled. In addition it was quite impossible to observe uninterrupted. Therese raised several times her bed of feathers before herself, and when I and Professor Killermann during such a time went to the top of the bed, we had to depart immediately from there due to the enraged protest of the father. During these times, - which were explained by the parents thereby, that Therese must get some breathing space - there were noticeable to me strange, intensive movements of Therese, which were done with both the arms and the legs, movements, which seemed to extensive for the exclusive purpose of getting breathing space, and which caused me an embarrassed feeling35."
Dean Höfner of Waldsassen the later cathedral minister at Regensburg experienced something similar to professor Martini and professor Killermann. In his report one reads: "If Therese pushed the bed somewhat back again ... then nobody was allowed to take such a position that he could observe something, what Therese did with her hands or in any other way. Attempts were prevented immediately by the parents with the remark, that one should go back because it conflicted with morality36."
Nevertheless however the visitors saw a blood-covered Therese Neumann and blood-stained laundry again and again. When and how did the blood show up? Where can be no doubt that manipulation occurred. Already the fact that unassailable observation by the people who were present was made impossible hints to this. An even stronger hint is provided if one thinks of the typical procedure. In regular intervals all present observers were banished from the room of the stigmatised. During the whole duration of their presence the blood remained unchanged dry. After returning, even with an interval of only a few minutes in-between, the beforehand dry blood had became damp, or blood marks on the laundry had enlarged. All scientist which were assigned by the bishop in March 1928 made the same observation. Exactly the same happened, when professor Gemelli form Milan was present. He also had to temporarily leave the room. During the first half of the day on March 23. 1928 this was request three times. The eviction from the room was justified differently in each case. On times it was said, that had rooms had to be ventilated, although air was not at all stale; at other times it was indicated that, the room had to be cleaned. Once, when bishop Waitz was present, the reason given was that Therese suffered large pain. It was often pointed to alleged large breathing complaints of the stigmatised, who during struggling for air threw away the blanket37.
On October 5. 1928 bishop Waitz stayed two times in Konnersreuth. Just like the other visitors he was requested to leave the room. The reason given was, that Therese had strong pain in the wounds. Afterwards however Therese indicated another reason for the eviction, i.e. "that there had been an evil presence in the room"38.
Occasionally leaving the room was required by Therese or by "the saviour". If someone was in the room, who "was unworthy in any way", it occurred that she awoke from the suffering vision and asked the ministers and her parents that all the visitors be expelled from the room". Asked for a reason the stigmatised replied: "the saviour doesn't like something in the room. He casts out, what can somehow be a hindrance39" Why had all visitors to leave without any exception, also bishops? It would have been sufficient to removed one or the other who was a "hindrance"; the saviour could have designated the evil doer. Why did the oracle of Christ fail in such cases?
If one considers the fact that after a new permission for the visitor to enter again fresh blood could be seen then, it is obvious what happened in the meantime. There can be hardly any other judgement than this: The blood, which the visitors saw, did not flow from wounds, the less from wounds that didn't even exist; instead there was manipulation.
Of great importance are the experiences which Professor Gemelli made with the stigmatised persons. He proved fraud with approximately 30 female stigmatiseds, which he examined on behalf of church authorities. He applied a simple method. He surrounded the limbs where the marks were located "with a sealed bandage of gypsum", which was again removed after some days. In all cases the result was the same: The crusts of clotted had become detached, and a pinkish epidermis had stepped into the place of the stigmata; a sign of regeneration40. If one would have applied this method in Konnersreuth also, that the result would doubtlessly not have been different. But of course the application of this method was not possible in Konnersreuth; Therese Neumann and her vicinity would never agree. And if the the attempt would have been made, the result would not have been different from the time, than Dr. Seidl made bandages in spring 1926. The reaction of the stigmatised was unique: she complained about tremendously strong pain; she screamed, even fainted. However as soon as one had removed the bandages, the pain suddenly stopped. This scene was repeated regularly. It also was the same with the last bandage which Dr. Seidl had created. "Agonising pain" started again". Than St. Theresia, who was called upon for help, appeared and first loosened the bandage - which the physician expressively had forbidden to do -; after removal of the bandage all pain was like gone with the Wind41. Naturally the bandages caused no pain at all. It is obvious, why Therese did not bear the bandages: they prevented artificial improvement.
There was also one man among the stigmatised persons looked up by Professor Gemelli, the well-known Capucin father Pio of Pietrelcina. The professor had drafted a report but had to promise under oath to say nothing. A brother among the fathers, which obviously knew the contents, once called the report "dreadful". This remark raises suspicions concerning the contents; it was obviously at least as negative as with the other stigmatiseds, who Gemelli examined. Why isn't the public allowed to see the contents? Still something else about father Pio is remarkably: the recovery of the wounds in the last years of his life. After his death not even a trace of a wound could be found anywhere. Nevertheless the father was laid out in state with socks at the feet and with gloves at the hands. The reason indicated for this was, that one wanted to avoid a scandal among the ones who were weak in faith"42. On March 20. 1984 the legal proceedings for beatification were initiated.
Normally the sight of blood is not considered as particularly pleasant. In the Neumann house one thought obviously differently. In the group diary of the observing sisters of July 15. 1927 one can read: "At 4.45 o'clock we wanted to wipe off blood from the face, but Ms Neumann said: the post office car comes now, then again people will come'" Dr. Seidl demanded repeatedly but always in vain, to wash away the blood in the face of Therese. Both parents as well as Therese met the requests of the physician with the objection, that removing the blood would be all too painful43. But could this be? There never was a wound on the face of the stigmatised. Additionally, how could washing off have been connected with pain, as long as Therese was in the ecstatic state, where according to the claims she was pain insensitive? Finally the blood was eliminated nevertheless later, without pain.
As mentioned Therese Neumann herself explained, why not even after termination of the Good Friday visions, she wanted to be washed down. She also occasionally displayed herself to the people outside of the house with traces of blood in the face. It is obvious what she aimed for. It certainly is another question, whether it then actually was blood. Auxiliary priest Heinrich Muth of Konnersreuther once addressed Therese: "Resl, today you have painted yourself rather poorly!" She gave no response, but ran away hasty.
Let's assume, that stigmatisation is an image of the suffering of Jesus, then the individual wounds would have had to occur in this order: scourge wounds, wounds on the head, the wound on the shoulder, wounds at hands and feet, the heart wound. In the case of Therese Neumann this was different: First the side wound appeared, according to Gerlich on March 5. 1926, according to Anni Spiegl at the night of February 25. to 26.; on 26 March a wound showed up on the back of the left hand; the marks on the back of the right hand and at the upper sides of the feet developed on April 2. 1926; only as late as Good Friday 1927 the wounds on the inner surfaces of the hands and on the soles showed up. Still later the wounds, which were never seen by humans not even in the vicinity of the stigmatised, are mentioned: The eight wounds of the thorn coronation are said to have appeared during the year 1927, “distributed among several occasions"; during the chamfering time 1929 we first hear about the "wound on the right shoulder", and on March 29. 1929 the scourge wounds allegedly appeared44.
On Good Friday 1928 Therese Neumann explained to two present theologians, canon Reichenberger and minister Höfner, the order in which the wounds bleeding in each case on Good Friday: "Listen, it's like that: If the saviour bleeds, then I also bleed, always in the places, in which the saviour bleds. The eyes and the heart catch on to bleed with the second prayer on the oil mountain; the hands, when the saviour is bound, the feet when the saviour on the way of the oil mountain to the city falls down. During the suffering the individual wounds don't always bled, but according to the bleedings of the saviour; thus hands and feet bleed at the crucifixion for example; the heart only at the end45." The specification of the stigmata contradicts the reports of the evangelists. These know for example nothing of the fact that on the oil mountain Jesus' eyes and heart would have bled; besides weakly bloodily coloured liquid already withdrew from Thereses' eyes years before their stigmatisation. It also appears remarkable that the stigmatised told the visitor Ennemond Boniface that, "during violent excitation " also "extensive bleedings from their heart, from the side wound apeared46. That does not have anything to do with co-suffering with Jesus.
The Good Friday passion of Therese Neumann is called seeing and co-suffering the events at Good Friday in Jerusalem. Was it like that? Let us consider the "spiritually rising" scenes, which professor Killermann witnessed in Konnersreuth. Therese complains again and again, that she feels so hot; she explains, that on the oil mountain it was colder than in her bed, where it is so hot. She allegedly follows Jesus on its way of of the cross; but she does not know what the real mater of concern is. When one of the persons present mentions the wood of the cross wood, she opines: "There isn't an oven for making fire." Repeatedly she expresses the assumption, that the saviour is on the way home; the fact that he approaches death is not know to her. She does not learn anything from from one time to the next; also minister Naber was not able to remedy this. In the year 1928, after the ecstatic seeing of the carrying of the cross and the first breaking down under the cross, he tried to direct the seeress towards the fact of the crucifixion. All attempts failed; the seeress insisted, " that the dear saviour is not at all nailed to the cross"47.
On the Friday before the Palm Sunday 1928 canon Dr. Reichenberger was in Konnersreuth. In the time between 6.00 and 10.00 o'clock he made some notes for himself:
At 6.15 o'clock Therese speaks about the question, who is for or against her at the seat of the bishop of Regensburg.
At 6.30 o'clock she calls Dr. Martini, "good"; about professor Killermann she states, that he was not quite versed "not completely". Then she yawns and groans. When Dr. Seidl asks a question, she answers: "I feel hot. Who are you? What is this taste!" - She noticed the smell of Lysol with Seidl; the physician briefly before had led during a relieving. The smell did not leave peace to Therese. She says: "I don't like it, it stinks. "
6:40 o'clock: Therese: "When the saviour was there, it did not smell in such a way. Now, what he is gone, it smells again. I can suffer through it."
6:45 o'clock: She complains again about the smell.
7:00 o'clock: Therese: "The saviour became sick. There it tastes; that grows me there inside."; while uttering this she points to her mouth.
7:15 o'clock: "When one is with the saviour it doesn't stinks in such a way.
7:30 o'clock: Dr. Seidl left; beforehand he shook her Hand. Therese complains, that now her hand smells also. She says: "Because of my love for the saviour I will bear with this things."
8:25 o'clock: Therese: "There I go away from this stinking thing. "
9:00 o'clock: She complains about science, through which nobody comes close to the saviour; science does not believe in God. She praises the bishop of Regensburg, because he doesn't love science "so badly"; she expresses herself against the deceased bishop Antonius, however praise his successor Michael Buchberger48.
Should being spiritually uplifted by seeing the things seen at Friday look like this? One must ask oneself similar questions, if one reads what interested Therese, while she experiences other scenes in her visions. For example she describes the scene of the murder of the children of Bethlehem; suddenly she interrupts the description, turns to her nephew and asks: "Did y' eat a herring?" After further discussion, whether the nephew ate one, she goes on with the description of the child murder49. Regarding the visions of the Therese Neumann in the year 1927 the Evangelical-Lutheran minister Simon said: "There is total silence in Konnersreuth about the spiritual contents of the suffering Jesus, about the faith, the obedience and from the love of Jesus - not a single word about this! Considering this lack the intensive occupation of Thereses with the suffering phases of Jesus can not be considered basically different from religiously disguised parallel to rummaging in the gruesome details of horrible torture- and execution scenes, like those in dime novels of the worst sort50."
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