What is the OCA’s view of stigmata or other modern manifestations of Jesus or Mary? I would appreciate both a theological answer, and official Church position, if there is one.


Stigmata, such as manifested in Padre Pio, are foreign to the Orthodox experience and, as such, the Church has no official position in this regard. There have been, however, such phenomena as weeping icons and the like within the Orthodox world. In such cases an investigation is undertaken to ascertain the legitimacy of such things, and the Church is generally cautious in immediately proclaiming them to be miracles.

My personal opinion is that such things indeed may be signs from God, or they could be deceptions or distractions from the devil, but that if one remains focused on Christ one should not make too much of them. The real miracle in such instances is found, not in the phenomena themselves, but, rather, in the repentance and changed lives that they inspire. As St John of Kronstadt says, “Lord, I am a miracle of Thy goodness and wisdom and love.”

In other words, one should not allow such things to overshadow the attention that is due God and God alone, nor to allow such things to become more central to life than the Gospel.