Above is a photograph of Magdalena Gornik with stigmata.
(July 19, 1835 - February 23, 1896)
Magdalena Gornik was born in 1835 into a poor farm family in the village of Janeži, part of the Slovenian parish of Gora near Sodražica, which is about 50 kilometers south of Ljubljana, the capitol of the country. Her parents were honest and devout Christians, who brought up their seven children in that spirit. Magdalena was above all a normal farm girl, helping her parents with farm work and enjoying the company of her friends, being affectionate and friendly.
August 11, 1848, was the day of Magdalena’s first mystical ecstasy. In spirit she was transported to a dark, steep, narrow, and thorny path. She heard the voice, “If you want to go to heaven, you must travel upon this path.”
Magdalena decided that she would follow that invitation: “Gladly, gladly I will go on that path.”
Magdalena and her sisters moved back to Gora near Sodražica after the death of Fr. Kaplenek. They lived together in the village of Petrinci, where she continued to live without food, receiving only the Holy Eucharist and non-ordinary mystical food, and to share in the experience of Christ’s suffering. As had long been the case, many people with various wishes and intentions visited her.
Her Holy Death
On February 23, 1896, the first Sunday of Lent, Magdalena passed away at 60 years of age from what was thought to be tuberculosis. She died in the evening after answering her sisters’ question about staying with her, saying they did not have to stay but rather should go to rest. She told them that Jesus and Mary would take care of her.
The day of her funeral, February 26, Magdalena’s reassurance to her sister came to fruition: there was such an unusually heavy snowfall that only a few local people were able to be present. Magdalena was buried at the church cemetery of Gora in the village of Petrinci in the grave of her parents.
Magdalena's first ecstasy was as early as her thirteenth year (11 August 1848). From 24 August 1848 until her death on 23 February 1896, she was in ecstasy every evening. At times she was in ecstasy several times a day. Her ecstasy on Fridays, which lasted 3 hours, and that during Holy Week were particularly special. In addition, Magdalena was sometimes in ecstasy several days, even the entire week. Actually, the duration of the ecstasy depended on the feast day or sacredness of the time, i.e. the ecstasy coincided in spirit with the Church year. Magdalena was in ecstasy at every Mass. While in ecstasy she knew when a priest with the Holy Eucharist was in her proximity, although she did not visually see this. During that time she continually gave homage to the Holy Body of Christ. Otherwise, her body was not sensitive to any external stimulation.
Magdalena was able to recount all that happened in her ecstasy. In fact, she could clearly distinguish between that of which she was aware prior to being in ecstasy and that while being in ecstasy. Each of her ecstasies also involved visions. While in ecstasy she frequently participated in mystical suffering; even during the last years of her life she particularly suffered near the end of each ecstasy. At that time the stigmata would also open.
The content of Magdalena's visions were very diverse. They correspond to the seasons of the Church year. Magdalena had visions all of her life, including the day before her death. In the visions she saw and spoke to angels, the Virgin Mary, the Blessed Trinity, and some of the Saints. Visions of the angels were almost always connected to a vision of the Virgin Mary or Blessed Trinity. The angels frequently gave Magdalena various instructions especially those dealing with the veneration of Mary and worship of God, and they often wept over non-believers. The Virgin Mary spoke to her many times about humility, obedience, and the necessity of imploring the Holy Spirit for enlightenment and for courage in bearing suffering with joy and patience. She often invited Magdalena to meditate on the suffering and death of Jesus. Magdalena frequently saw Mary as the imploring intercessor for people with her own Son.
Very frequently, particularly on Fridays and during lent, Magdalena was present through visions at Jesus' suffering as the evangelists had described it. Particularly in the visions during lent she was present at and fully participating in Jesus' Last Supper as well as present at His suffering and death. At Easter she witnessed Jesus' resurrection and later also His ascension into heaven. In addition, when at home she often attended holy Mass at the local church.
Magdalena received as she did sacramental Communion (this is the Holy Communion that all believers can receive) mystical Communion (only some Saints receive Holy Communion in this manner) – both most often in ecstasy. She received sacramental Communion ordinarily from the local priest. Sometimes he brought her Holy Communion at home, or she received it at holy Mass.
Mystical Communion was something particularly special. She received it only during ecstasy. At that time Jesus Himself would give it to her, or Saints who had been priests, or angels. More than a thousand people of all states in life saw how, after she prepared herself specially for this purpose, Magdalena suddenly found the Sacred Host in her mouth without any priestly intervention, and then soon afterwards they still saw a special chalice and heard Magdalena's drinking of the Holy Savior's Blood. Many priests were also convinced of this as they witnessed it with their own eyes. Magdalena always gave thanks for the receiving of Holy Communion. Sometimes she would then further exhort those present to penance. Frequently the content of the entire ecstasy, that is vision, was only the preparation and thanksgiving for the receiving of mystical Communion.
Magdalena received the marks of Jesus' wounds as a thirteen-year-old girl. She bore the wounds of the hands, feet, and side. However, when she beheld the crown of thorns or other suffering of the Savior in a vision, the wounds of the thorns would open on her forehead. Blood ran down her face in streams. In addition, particularly during Holy Week when she accompanied Jesus in His suffering wounds of His scourging would also open over her body to the point that blood drenched all of her clothes. She bore the wound on the side to the end of her life. The stigmata caused her very great suffering, but Magdalena never complained about the pain. She completely submitted to God's will and offered this suffering to Him. Medical doctors investigated the stigmata, and priests observed them; no one could ascertain any deception or any kind of hysteria.
From her thirteenth year until her death, Magdalena ate no earthly food. Thus for forty-seven years she lived without any food. She could not bear the odor of common food. Her food was only the Holy Eucharist and some type of heavenly food, which she ate only while she was in ecstasy. Despite not eating food she performed her daily obligations with ease.
While in the state of ecstasy, Magdalena received several objects that were seen not only by her but also by other people. One of these was an uncommon or heavenly food, which Magdalena ate almost every day at the end of her ecstasy. Most often she received it during a vision of the Virgin Mary or angels. Eyewitnesses reported that it was food in the shape of a small particle or granule; it was often of various colors. In a vision Magdalena was told that receiving this food was above all in order for people to believe that God spoke through her.
Particularly interesting was the small cross Magdalena received while in ecstasy, which remained on her chest even when she went from ecstasy back to the ordinary state. This small cross stayed on her body without any chain or other fastener, and it never fell onto the floor. The cross had also been held in the hands of many priests, during which it maintained the exact same size and color. Magdalena received it during the evening ecstasy, after which it remained with her overnight, but during her ordinary state in the morning it would disappear; she then would receive it again during the evening ecstasy.
The phenomena of levitating in the air occurred many times with Magdalena when she very strongly wished to receive Holy Communion. At that time, because of a strong yearning in meeting the living Jesus her body raised up into the air. She also levitated other times such as when the priest did a blessing with the Blessed Sacrament as well as during her mystical death on Good Friday and her mystical resurrection on Easter morning.
Knowledge of Languages
While in ecstasy Magdalena understood and spoke in languages that she had never studied or heard before. She had command of Greek, Caldean, Hebrew
Magdalena also had the gift of reading souls, i.e. comprehending the internal state of souls. She knew the intentions with which a person visited her or if requested she opened to him the internal state of his soul. Upon their request, she revealed to many priests their internal state.