Christina de STOMMELN (1242-1312)

Cristina was born in 1242 in Stommeln (Cologne). The father was a prosperous farmer who worried that his daughter would receive an education; though Cristina could not write, she could still read the psaltery. In the brief account of her youth, written by her parish priest, Johannes, under his dictation, Cristina states that the Virgin Mary in person at the age of nine appeared to her and taught her the sequence to the Holy Spirit. Moreover, in 1247, at the age of 5 he had a vision of the infant Jesus.
At 12 (or 13) years he escapes a marriage arranged by his father and, wanting to participate in a more religious life, she becomes part of the Cologne beguinage. At the age of 15 he receives the stigmata at the hands and feet and the signs of the crown of thorns on his head. She was tempted several times by the devil, even on the brink of suicide. For example, Cristina continually lost blood from her mouth and nostrils, the demon scourged her with thorn whips, flooded her with the bed of 4000 fleas, forced her to silence for 15 days, and for another 14 deprived her of sleep covering her with pustules every once he tried to fall asleep, he beat her with red-hot hammers, humiliated her by covering her with excrement materialized from nothing. The outward signs of these experiences led her sisters to believe that she was crazy and therefore a few years later they took her away. Christina had to leave the community, which satisfied her so much, because of an illness that had struck her, but above all because she was misunderstood by the others who did not understand her eccentricity.
On December 20, 1267 he met a young Swedish Dominican friar (also a brother of Cristina had entered the order), a student in Cologne, Peter of Dacia († 1289), with whom she entered into spiritual harmony with epistolary prevalence; he himself wrote the “Life” (Vita Christinae Stumbelensis) of the blessed until 1286. Peter, a pupil of Albert the Great, later became his guide with an intense spiritual love which Renan will call did not hesitate to define “mystic idyll”.
Christina had ecstasies and apparitions and in 1269 she received the stigmata on her hands and feet, which became visible at certain times of the year; she was tried throughout her life by many sufferings, which she endured by always looking at the value of the Cross. In the year of Peter’s death the assaults of the devil ceased and Cristina, still wearing the dress of the beguines, lived in peace until 1312, the year of her death in Stommeln. Recognized as blessed, her cult was approved by Saint Pius X (Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto, pope from 1903 to 1914) and is remembered on November 6 (the day of her death) in the Roman martyrology, in Lotaringia. In 1342 her relics were transferred to Nideggen; from 1568 they rest in the church of Jülich.

Antonio Borrelli, in
The site
Pierre de Dacie, L’Amour et la Dilection. La Vie de Christine de Stommeln suivie de Lettres de Pierre et de Christine, William Blake and Co., 2005 (Vincent Fournier, postface Marie-Fançoise Notz)


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