When a young woman becomes afflicted by stigmata, a priest is sent to investigate her case, which may have severe ramifications for his faith and for the Catholic Church itself.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Father Durning
Marion Petrocelli (as Rade Sherbedgia)
Father Dario
Dick Latessa ...
Father Gianni Delmonico
Tom Hodges ...
ER Nurse
Lydia Hazan ...
Attending Nurse
Dr. Eckworth (as Duke Moosekian)


A priest from the Vatican is sent to Sao Paulo, Brazil to investigate the appearance of the face of the Virgin Mary on the side of a building. While there he hears of a statue of the Virgin Mary bleeding tears in a small town outside of the city. Meanwhile, a young woman in the U.S. begins to show signs of stigmata, the wounds of Christ. The priest from the Vatican links up with her and cares for her as she is increasingly afflicted by the stigmata. Her ranting and raving finally begins to make sense to the priest who starts to question what his religion has stood for for the last 1900 years. Written by Jeff Mellinger <jmell@uclink4.berkeley.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The messenger must be silenced. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for intense violent sequences, language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:


Release Date:

10 September 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Toby's Story  »

Box Office


$29,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$18,309,666 (USA) (10 September 1999)


$50,041,732 (USA) (18 February 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Patricia Arquette's character is named Frankie (short for Frances), similar to the name of the saint, Francis, whom we're told by Gabriel Byrne's character was the first to receive the stigmata. See more »


Father Andrew Kiernan states that monks invented alcohol. Even if one grants Kiernan the benefit of the doubt and assumes that he is referring exclusively to alcoholic beverages, he is still wrong. The ancient Egyptians were drinking beer back in 3000 B.C.E., if not before. See more »


Dr. Reston: Do you have any stress at work?
Frankie: I cut hair.
See more »


Referenced in Be Kind Rewind (2008) See more »


Mary Mary (Stigmatic Mix)
Written by Nigel Hunter, Bruce Duncan, Anne Holden, Louise Watts, Paul Greco,
Darren Hamer, Allen Whalley, and Judith Abbott
Performed by Chumbawamba
Courtesy of EMI Electrola GmbH and Universal Records
Universal Records under license from Universal Music Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Better than my first impression
4 February 2001 | by (Denton, TX) – See all my reviews

Stigmata is at the very least controversial. I feel that it's really struggling to find a genre, so it's harsh to compare it to the Exorcist as many have. This is a film based somewhat on truth, and somewhat on legend with a little Hollywood finesse to bring it all together. It doesn't stay completely true to either a Christian audience or to mainstream Hollywood, but I think that's to it's credit. I don't know many people who knowingly make this kind of cross-over in their normal rental choices, so in that way, it helps to reach the largest possible audience. The way that the film afflicts it's heroine with the stigmata through the rosary is just typical screenwriting, and the romance aspects are predictable. The film, based upon the discovery of the Gospel of Thomas, assumes that the discovery of that scroll had never been know to the public, and that personal vendettas within the Vatican had helped to suppress it. In reality however, there have been numerous translations of that Gospel, although I rather doubt that the modern bible will be amended. (Due to it's debated authenticity.) In short, the film is thought-provoking, yet not heavy-handed in it's message. It leaves you asking questions as to your own faith, and to the nature of the established "church" far after you've reached the final credits. As an action-suspense-thriller I'd rank it about a 7 out of 10, but in terms of it's religious nature it succeeds greatly in the find-the-truth-for-yourself message that it conveys.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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