Quezon City| A baby born with strange stigmata-like sores resembling the injuries suffered by the Christ during his crucifixion, is attracting a lot of attention from Christians across the Philippines. Thousands of faithful have already gathered around the Quezón City General Hospital, hoping to see the “blessed” child.
Jejomar Castillo was born on the morning of March 15, weighting 3.2 kilograms and bearing strange injuries on his face, hands and feet. These surprising sores are almost identical to the famous wounds suffered by Jesus, including the head wounds associated with the Crown of thorns and the wounds caused by the crucifixion itself.
According to one of the country’s top microbiological experts, Ph.D. Merlyn Cruz, the young boy suffers a very rare syndrome causing localised purpura, which is characterized by red or purple discolorations on the skin.
“I have to admit that this is an amazing case” says Doctor Cruz. “Only a handful of similar cases have been recorded throughout history, and it’s the first time on a baby, so the scientific knowledge accumulated about his pathology is very scarce. We are doing a series of tests to determine what these sores actually are and what is causing them to appear, but we have found nothing yet.”
The newborn boy bears wounds on his forehead, hands and feet. These sores bleed regularly and seem unable to heal completely.
Rumors of a “miraculous child” rapidly spread across the hospital, then across the city, and a large crowd rapidly gathered outside the boy’s room and even around the hospital. Within a matter of hours, thousands of people surrounded the building in silent prayer.
The crowd has now been there for two days, praying and chanting religious slogans like “Welcome to the Saviour” and “Thank you God for sending Jejomar“. Many of the people on the site seem to associate the birth of this enigmatic child with the biblical Return of Jesus Christ.
The most famous case of stigmata in modern history, is certainly that of Pio of Pietrelcina, commonly known as Padre Pio, who was a friar, priest and mystic of the Roman Catholic Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. He became famous for bearing the stigmata for most of his life and is now venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church.
Dozens of other cases of stigmata have been reported over the centuries, but none of them concerning a newborn child. This unique condition has already attracted a lot of attention on Jejomar and his family, and it seems the enthusiastic Christians who have gathered around the hospital are already calling him a saint. The young Jejomar Castillo, therefore, really seems condemned to have a very different life than most Filipino child.