Jesus Heals the Demoniac, and Receiving the Stigmata

Fr. Josh answers questions about the story of Jesus healing the demoniac in Matthew 8: 25-34, and the significance and accuracy of saints receiving the marks of Jesus’ crucifixion wounds on their bodies known as the stigmata.


Snippet of the Show

The stigmata is a personal gift God gives his children to draw them into the mystery of Jesus Christ crucified.


Jesus Heals the Demoniac

Hi Fr. Josh, long time listener, first time question submissioner. In Mark 5 we have the story of Jesus healing the Gerasene demoniac. There is an element of the story that I have been praying with for a long time and would love your insight on.

The demon, Legion, asks to be sent into a herd of swine. I’ve always wondered why Jesus grants this favor to the unclean spirit, especially at so great a cost to the gentile herdsmen. This action is not only financially hurtful to the herdsmen; it also causes a great hardness of hearts in the people Jesus is visiting; they immediately ask Jesus to leave.

How do we understand this action? It seems almost like a moment of compassion toward the unclean spirit. In addition, Jesus would have known that the swine were valuable to the gentiles of Gerasene, and certainly the spirit did not trick Jesus, trying to find a way to subvert his mission in the gentile region. It’s just been a hard element of the story for me to understand, and one that I feel doesn’t really get touched on in sermons or bible studies.


Receiving the Stigmata

Hello Fr. Josh, I have a question about the wounds of Christ and stigmata. Can you explain the discrepancy between the stigmata’s on the hands specifically the palms that appear on certain saints vs. what historians tell us how crucifixions were done by nailing through the wrist and not the palms? Even the Shroud of Turin show Jesus’ wrist as the placement of the nails. Does the Church have an official teaching on this? Thank you, love your show and look forward to every episode!

– Dee


Meet Fr. Josh Johnson

While Fr. Josh was raised Catholic, he didn’t like the Church growing up. Then, one day in adoration, he fell in love with Jesus and received the call to become a priest.

Now, Fr. Josh is the Vocations Director of the Diocese of Baton Rouge in Louisiana. He is a presenter in four of Ascension’s programs: Altaration, YOU: Life, Love, and the Theology of the Body, The 99, and Connected: Catholic Social Teaching for This Generation, as well as the author of Broken and Blessed: An Invitation to My Generation, Pocket Guide to Adoration, and co-author of Pocket Guide to Reconciliation.

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