here] Portrait of Jesus as mystic and stigmatist Rhoda Wise
2004 - Reported in Spirit
Daily.com online newspaper. Did an Ohio woman bleed from supernatural
wounds? And does phenomena still occur at her former home?
We asked the
same thing recently about the famed German stigmatic, Therese Neumann,
who exhibited a mind-boggling array of phenomena. At first, we kept
a distance -- concerned that the flow of blood was a bit too gruesome.
But then we read a rare little booklet called Mary Crushes the Serpent
in which an exorcist cited specifically such gruesome afflictions
-- in some cases caused by evil spirits -- as another trial certain
Last year we
carried an article about how folks still crowd into the small house
once owned in Canton, Ohio, by an alleged stigmatic and healer named
Rhoda Wise -- who bore wounds and a flow of blood (at times covering
her face) that were almost identical to those of Neumann. Naturally,
we can't vouch for every manifestation. We don't know how to discern
this in its entirety. The diocese of Youngstown, which has jurisdiction
over the case, never ruled.
There were controversies.
There were questions. But there were also remarkable events that
seemed very holy.
still do. When we called the caretaker, Karen E. Sigler, she said
that healings continue even though Rhoda has been dead now for 55
had some remarkable testimonies," says Sigler, citing three
that came to mind immediately. One was an adopted girl who had severe,
"terminal" muscular dystrophy -- who needed braces to
walk and a feeding tube due to seizures -- but who regained her
ability to walk.
her mother was coming here to pray to accept the child's death,"
says Karen, "but a year later she brought in the child's braces."
a woman who had arthritis so bad she couldn't bend her knees.
The morning after she visited the house, says Sigler, she was able
to walk again normally.
the lay Carmelite who had been suffering from serious athletic injuries
and woke the day after her visit to the scent of roses and the sudden
liberation from what had been years of excruciating pain.
she has detected the flowery aroma known as the odor of sanctity
on many occasions and welcomes visitors to the home in Canton --
where for nine years Wise allegedly received visits from Jesus and
St. Therese the Little Flower. According to the Canton Repository [See here], "On
the first Friday of every month, she would bleed from her palms
and forehead wounds resembling those Christ received on the
cross. Word got around, and the line to see Wise could stretch around
the block on those days, or at other times. Even after she died
in 1948, the faithful would come to visit her daughter, Anna Mae
Wise, and pray."
The house is
now owned by Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Alabama, home to
the well-known nun, Mother Angelica, who credits a novena Wise gave
her for healing a stomach malady when she was a teenager (a miracle
that she says led to her life-long commitment to God and eventually
to becoming a religious).
Wise was a convert
from Protestantism who experienced an apparition of Jesus soon after
she joined the Church and was healed herself in 1939 of terminal
cancer. She believed the intercession likewise had come through
St. Therese. "I've smelled roses many times when there were
none here and many times others have too," says Sigler. A statue
that exuded while Wise was alive is also in the small house. The
visitors don't flood in great numbers come, but there are regular
prayer groups and it doesn't take many to fill the house.
As for the healings:
"It's not like it happens all the time, and not everyone gets
one," says Sigler. "They get the graces they need. Some
of the people who come here and are very sick end up dying, but
their families come back and say this place really prepared them,
really made a difference."
we urge prayerful discernment and at the same time, an open-mindedness
toward such phenomena. Only after fasting and prayer should such
situations be approached -- especially with live mystics who lay
on their hands. In the case of Wise, the discernment centers on
those wounds that were similar to those of Neumann. Real? Unreal?
Something very unusual obviously occurred in that little home that
still stands like a chapel.
|To visit Rhoda Wise's home or obtain copies of The Rhoda Wise Story call 330-453-0322 or write 2337 25th St. NE Canton, Ohio 44705. Learn more about these events at RhodaWise.com.
Read/view Biography on Rhoda Wise.