Five Holy Wounds  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Five Holy Wounds or Five Sacred Wounds refer to what are believed to be the five piercing wounds that was suffered during the crucifixion of Jesus.

These wounds are not explicitly mentioned in any of the canonical Gospels until the Resurrection, although John the Evangelist states that no bones were broken. In the course of His Passion, Jesus suffered other wounds as well, such as those from the crown of thorns and from the flagellation.

List of Five Wounds

  • nailing to cross through right hand
  • nailing to cross through left hand
  • nailing to cross through right foot
  • nailing to cross through left foot
  • Piercing of side by Holy Lance of Longinus

In the course of his Passion, Jesus suffered other wounds as well, such as those from the crown of thorns and from the flagellation.

In art

In art the Incredulity of Saint Thomas, has been common since at least the early 6th century, when it appears in the mosaics at Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, and on the Monza ampullae. Among the most famous examples are the sculpted pair of Christ and St. Thomas by Andrea del Verrocchio (1467–1483) for the Orsanmichele in Florence and The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio, now in Potsdam.

In the later Middle Ages Jesus with one side of his robe pulled back, displaying the wound in his side and his other four wounds (called the ostentatio vulnerum), was taken from images with the Doubting Thomas and turned into a pose adopted by Jesus alone, who often places his own fingers into the wound in his side. This form became a common feature of single iconic figures of Jesus and subjects such as the Last Judgement (where Bamberg Cathedral has an early example of about 1235), Christ in Majesty, the Man of Sorrows and Christ with the Arma Christi, and was used to emphasize Christ's suffering as well as the fact of his Resurrection.

See also





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Five Holy Wounds" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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