Stigmata (Ancient Greek: στίγματα, plural of στίγμα stigma, 'mark, spot, brand'), in Catholicism, are bodily wounds, scars and pain which appear in locations corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus Christ: the hands, wrists, and feet.
St. Francis of Assisi was the first recorded stigmatic. For over fifty years, St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin reported stigmata which were studied by several 20th-century physicians. Stigmata are foreign to the Eastern Orthodox Church, which professes no official view on them; the only stigmatics have been Catholics who lived after the Great Schism of 1054.
A high percentage (probably over 80%) of all stigmatics are women. In his book Stigmata: A Medieval Phenomenon in a Modern Age, Ted Harrison suggests that there is no single mechanism whereby the marks of stigmata were produced. What is important is that the marks are recognised by others as of religious significance. Some cases of stigmata have been results of trickery. Some cases have also included reportings of a mysterious chalice in visions being given to stigmatics to drink from or the feeling of a sharp sword being driven into one's chest.