Stigmata
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FAQ for
Stigmata (1999) More at IMDbPro »

The content of this page was created directly by users and has not been screened or verified by IMDb staff.
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FAQ Contents


A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Stigmata can be found here.

No. Stigmata is based on a screenplay written by Tom Lazarus (also co-producer) and Rick Ramage.

What is 'Stigmata' about?

Father Andrew Kiernan (Gabriel Byrne), a Vatican scientist whose job is to investigate religious phenomena such as the face of the Virgin Mary on a building wall, is dispatched to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to look into the case of Frankie Paige (Patricia Arquette), a hairdresser who has suddenly become afflicted with stigmata after acquiring a rosary formerly owned by a deceased Italian priest who also suffered from the phenomena.

What are stigmata?

Stigmata are the marks resembling the crucifixion wounds from Jesus Christ's crucifixion, most often on the hands and feet. In the movie, Frankie is also plagued with whip slashes on her back and punctures from the crown of thorns placed on His forehead.

In full, the message is: 'The Kingdom of God is inside you and all around you. Not in mansions of wood and stone. Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift a stone, and you will find me.' It's an excerpt from the Gospel of Thomas.

Yes. As the movie claims, the writings that have been named the 'Gospel of Thomas' were discovered near Nag Hammadi, Egypt in 1945. However, the Gospel of Thomas is not held as canonical by the Catholic Church or other Christian churches. More information about the writings can be found here.

How does the movie end?

Cardinal Houseman (Jonathan Pryce) attempts to perform an exorcism on Frankie. When that doesn't work, he attempts to strangle her. Father Kiernan arrives just in time to pull him off. Suddenly, the fireplace explodes, sending flames all around the room. Kiernan acknowledges the presence of Father Alameida (Jack Donner) and asks to be considered the messenger. He walks through the flames to Frankie's bedside and carries her outside. In the final scene, Father Kiernan returns to Belo Quinto and finds the original Gospel of Thomas scroll hidden under the floorboards of Alameida's church. Before the credits roll, a textual epilogue says, In 1945, a scroll was discovered in Nag Hamadi, which is described as 'the secret sayings of the living Jesus'. This scroll, the Gospel of Saint Thomas, has been claimed by scholars around the world to be the closest record we have to the words of the historical Jesus. The Vatican refuses to recognize this Gospel and has described it as heresy.

The Gospel of Saint Thomas is said to be written by Jesus Christ himself to his apostles. Jesus' admonition that God can be found everywhere, not just in buildings, would negate the need for churches. This would be a deathblow to the Catholic hierarchy as well as all other churches and institutions that require membership in order to be certified as a Christian.

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