Katarzyna (Catherine) Szymon – A stigmatic from Poland



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A room at Marta Godzieks home in which Katarzyna Szymon suffered, prayed and received pilgrims from 13.11.81 to 24.08.86. 




This is the room which Catherine occupied until her death, all the items are as they were when she was alive, even the bed is still in the same place.

From 1981 Catherine lived there permanently. Many people used to pay her a visit :

doctors, priests, teachers, seminarists and nuns. She would provide them with any help and advice on how to live and how to suffer


 This testimony may be viewed in the film



There are a few Catherine Szymon’s photographs remaining - most of them were taken by Edward Ożóg of Bielsko-Biała.


Many quite amateurish. I kept asking her for permission but she did not like being photographed, she did not like to be advertised. She would say she appreciated modesty and needed no publicity - urging us to show her photographs if we wished but only after her death. She would modestly make a point of being just as anyone else, agreeing to suffer for all of us, and for all the wickedness (impurities, filth)

of which the world is full. She suffered badly. I preferred visiting her on days when the pilgrims were gone –

normally on Friday – and it was usually when she was in great pain. It was heart-aching to see all those wounds of hers – including her head bleeding profusely. You could notice those little blood droplets oozing from her skin, and even worse – those tears of blood. Her eyes looked as if they had been crying with blood. Blood tears  ran down her cheeks to her chin. Blood was evident. Once, after I had taken some photos,

one of the priests – I am not going to say which one as his surname is irrelevant – was due to leave for Rome – and wanted to take the photographs to show the Pope. It was a Friday morning  – as arranged with Catherine beforehand. There was such a moment when Catherine said: "I am not going to show myself to the Pope like that " -  she went to the bathroom to wash herself and remove her blood-stained clothes. On returning I could observe from a distance of some 3 metres in the corridor – that blood was appearing on her face all over again.


 This testimony may be viewed in the film


 Catherine Szymon had at the end of her life her own chauffeur – Stanisław Płonka of Katowice.


This is the very car in which I used to drive Catherine Szymon around. I got to know her in 1978.  At that time I was constantly sick and it was her pleadings that made me recover – in return I decided to drive her to all those miraculous places.


 This testimony may be viewed in the film


Catherine Szymon bore sufferings which were not only physical, without any complaint and always with forgiveness at heart she accepted many painful and false judgements and even calumnies.


But what was most sorrowful was the fact that she was harassed. Some people accused her of scratching her wounds herself. I had been an eye-witness for six years, observing everything and I know she did not scratch herself. She bled idiopathically on Fridays and Wednesdays -  blood gushed from the wounds in her side, head, feet and from her eyes.


 This testimony may be viewed in the film