Stigmatic; b. Bois d'Haine, Belgium, Jan. 29, 1850;d. there, Aug. 25, 1883. She came of poor parents. Her health seems to have been good until she was savaged by a cow when she was 13. From that time she suffered successively from abscesses, throat trouble, neuralgic pains, and blood-spitting and was several times believed to be dying. She also began to have visions, and in 1868 she was gradually stigmatized, the wounds in the side, feet, and hands appearing one after the other and bleeding on Fridays, when she also fell into ecstasy. On the other days of the week she continued to work, but she ate practically nothing, and from spring 1871 onward was unable to take any solid food. She drank very little and later, it is alleged, nothing at all. In 1876 she became bedridden and from then on is believed to have lived only on Holy Communion. She also developed other faculties generally associated with stigmatization such as clairvoyance and hierognosis, that is, discernment of blessed objects and of the authenticity of relics.
The phenomena aroused great interest throughout Belgium and elsewhere, and in 1868 an ecclesiastical commission was appointed to investigate them. Its members subjected Louise to severe tests including the "recall," that is, the termination of an ecstasy or trance by a mental or oral command, and by making her work on Fridays in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent the phenomena from appearing. The German physician, Prof. R. Virchow, considered her a fraud, but on the other hand, the Belgian Academy of Medicine, after a lengthy investigation, confessed themselves unable to explain the phenomena naturally (see stigmatization).
Bibliography: m. didry and a. wallemacq, Belgian Mystic of the Nineteenth Century: Louise Lateau of Bois-d'Haine, 1850–53, tr. f. izard (London 1931); La Stigmatisée belge: La servante de Dieu, Louise Lateau, de Bois-d'Haine (3d ed. Louvain 1947). a. thiÉry, Nouvelle Biographie de Louise Lateau d'après les documents authentiques, 3 v. (Louvain 1915–21).
"Lateau, Louise." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 17, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/lateau-louise
"Lateau, Louise." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved February 17, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/lateau-louise
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.