A novice entering in the dark was frightened to death by coming into contact with the Blessed John Massias’s legs and feet as he hung suspended in the air
Type of Spiritual Experience
Friar Herbert Thurston was a Catholic priest, a member of the Jesuit order and an historian. He wrote extensively on Catholic mysticism and psychic phenomena and was a member of the Society for Psychical Research. He was also widely read on this subject. He is described as ‘an honest skeptic’., and once said ‘the role of Devil’s advocate is a thankless one and does not make for popularity’.
A description of the experience
Friar Herbert Thurston - The Physical Phenomenon of Mysticism
In the case of Blessed John Massias, a Dominican lay-Brother, who used to pray in the church at night rapt in ecstasy, a novice entering in the dark was frightened to death by coming into contact with the Brother’s legs and feet as he hung suspended in the air.
But of similar incidents there is literally no end. In the imperfect and limited inquiry which I have had time to make, I have taken note of the names of something over two hundred persons alleged to have been physically lifted from the ground in ecstasy. In about one-third of these cases there seems to me to be evidence which, if not conclusive, is to say the least respectable.
This, however, does not at all mean that the other two-thirds are to be rejected as mythical, but only that no adequate testimony to the fact is at present within reach. Many are mediaeval cases recorded by writers long posterior in date.