Film: Stigmata

Stigmata is a 1999 film Patricia Arquette and Gabriel Byrne.

Frankie, a young woman in Pittsburgh, is stricken with what appears to be Stigmata. A priest who specializes in authentication of miracles comes to meet her and examine her wounds.


Provides Examples Of:

  • Animal Motifs: Doves.
  • Artistic License – Religion
    Roger Ebert: "Stigmata" does not know, or care, about the theology involved, and thus becomes peculiarly heretical by confusing the effects of being possessed by Jesus and by Beelzebub.
    • It also features a desperate conspiracy by the Catholic Church to cover up the existence of the newly-rediscovered Gospel of Thomas, which would apparently destroy the entire institution of religion if discovered. However, it was actually discovered in 1945, and published (and translated) shortly after with no opposition whatsoever.
  • California Doubling: It's set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but as any native can tell you, what's shown is most definitely not Pittsburgh.
  • Christianity Is Catholic
  • Deadly Bath: Frankie steps into her Candlelit Bath to relax, only to be suddenly struck with a vision of the last tortured moments of the Messiah, complete with wounds opening in her wrists.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Frankie is an avowed atheist (and her "sinful" life is well displayed for the audience). Which makes her manifestation of the stigmata baffling.
  • Hollywood Exorcism: Cardinal Houseman tries to exorcise the priest's soul from Frankie. When that doesn't work, he tries to kill her to silence him.
  • Impaled Palm: Frankie's wounds are through her wrists, and she gleefully notes that they should be through her palms if she has stigmata. However, Father Kiernan notes that historic crucifixions were done through the wrist.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: Kiernan carries Frankie out of the nunnery this way.
  • Religious Horror
  • Sexy Priest: Kiernan.
  • Tears of Blood: The statue Father Kiernan investigates began crying human blood at the death of the church's beloved priest.
    • Frankie later cries the same tears.