At the age of 3 Audrey Marie Santo fell into the family swimming pool and, following doctors botched attempts to revive her, fell into a coma-like state referred to as ‘akinetic mutism’. Audrey had been brought up a Catholic and in her bedroom there are numerous icons and statues of the saints and the Virgin. On her return from hospital the statues began to weep and the stigmata appeared on her body.
Seventeen years after her accident, Audrey is still in a coma, still stigmatic, and the statues continue to weep. On the last Monday of each month from 1 to 4pm a select group of fifty or so terminally ill people are led away from a larger crowd of pilgrims to cluster around Audrey. They have come because they believe that she is a real stigmatic, that she displays a regular and spontaneous manifestation of bloody wounds which imitate the five crucifixion wounds of Christ. They have heard that blood seeps from Audrey’s wounds and then stops, with the wounds healing and disappearing.
They have also heard that the statues of Christ surrounding her weep oil; that traces of human blood have been discovered in communion wine and the Tabernacle; and that churchmen have witnessed the holy bread bleeding.
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