Bilocation, Mystical

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An extraordinary mystical phenomenon in which the material body seems to be simultaneously present in two distinct places at the same time. Since it is physically impossible that a physical body completely surrounded by its place be present in another place at the same time, this could not occur even by a miracle. Therefore, bilocation is always an apparent or seeming bilocation. The most noteworthy cases among the saints are those of Clement, Francis of Assisi, Anthony of Padua, Francis Xavier, Joseph Cupertino, Martin de Porres, and Alphonsus Liguori. When bilocation occurs, the true and physical body is present in one place and is only apparently present in the other by means of a representation of some kind. This representation could be caused supernaturally, diabolically, or by means of a natural power or energy as yet unknown. If the apparent bilocation is caused supernaturally, the body is physically present in one place and represented in the other place in the form of a vision, i.e., through the instrumentality of angels or through an intellectual, imaginative, or sensible vision caused by God in the witnesses. Another possible explanation is that the body of the mystic was transported instantaneously, through the gift of agility, from one place to another and was returned in the same manner. In this case, the apparent bilocation would be reduced to the phenomenon of agility.

Bibliography: r. omez, Psychical Phenomena, tr. r. haynes (New York 1958). a. royo, The Theology of Christian Perfection, tr. and ed. j. aumann (Dubuque 1962). j. g. arintero, The Mystical Evolution in the Development and Vitality of the Church, tr. j. aumann, 2 v. (St. Louis 194951). a. tanquerey, The Spiritual Life, tr. h. branderis (2d ed. Tournai 1930; reprint Westminster, Md. 1945). a. wiesinger, Occult Phenomena in the Light of Theology, tr. b. battershaw (Westminster, Md. 1957).

[j. aumann]