Indian Catholic News

Wounds to Indonesian seminarian stir up stigmata fever

Flores native Tedy Dundru sets internet abuzz after images show him with wounds similar to crucified Christ.

Capuchin seminarian Tedy Dundru has suffered wounds since 2010 that resemble those suffered by Jesus during his crucifixion. (Photo supplied)

A Capuchin seminarian from North Sumatra has become an online sensation in Indonesia after images were circulated showing him with what appear to be wounds similar to those suffered by Christ during his crucifixion.

Images that went viral on social media in the last several days show seminarian Tedy Dundru, who hails from Flores, with wounds to his feet, hands, left torso and eyes.

The wounds are similar to what the Catholic Church calls stigmata — the wounds inflicted on Jesus during his crucifixion.

His relatives and church leaders in Medan Archdiocese, where he studies theology and philosophy, told the wounds in the images were authentic.

One family member, Luis Aman, said Dundru has suffered these wounds before.

“They first started when he entered a convent in 2010,” he said.

Before joining the Capuchins in 2016, Dundru joined the Xaverian Missionaries and spent time at the Lamanabi Trappist Monastery in East Flores.

"In the monastery, he also experienced the same thing," said Aman, who said the wounds were causing Dundru a lot of pain.

While in the monastery, the wounds would subside and then reappear, Aman said.

“The Capuchin Order had sent him to Italy for treatment, but a number of medical specialists have failed to cure it or explain the cause," he said.

“The family has so far been reluctant to talk openly about it, because they are confused and are unsure what is happening,” Aman added.

Many people now know, despite the order wanting to keep these events quiet.

The local head of the Capuchins did not respond to a request by for an interview.

The man at the center of the controversy, Dundru, was also unavailable for interview.

However, the vicar general of Medan Archdiocese, Capuchin Father Michael Manurung, told a local Catholic news portal that the order was approaching the matter cautiously.

"There will be a right time to prove whether these are spiritual experiences or other things," he said.

But ordinary Catholics who have circulated the images online, want answers and have called on church officials to take immediate action to try and determine whether Dundru is a stigmatic or not.

“This is certainly unique and raises questions,” said Bonifasius Gunung, a Catholic layman in Jakarta.

“Some have shared this online and have immediately called it a stigmata case. The Church should take steps to investigate it,” he said.

The Church regards the stigmata as a blessing for deeply religious people, as though Christ had actually touched them. Skeptics think the wounds are probably the result of self-harm or a medical problem.

The “holy” wounds in question are five in number and include marks on the head from the crown of thorns, nail wounds through the hands and feet, whipping marks and a wound from a spear through the side.

Famous stigmatics include St. Francis of Assisi — the first person believed to have received the stigmata — who received wounds to his hands, feet and sides.

Also “blessed” were the Italians St. Gemma Galgani, and priest, Francis Forgione, who became known as Padre Pio and then St. Pio, and German nun Therese Neumann.

Source: UCAN

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