Louise Lateau de Bois d’Haine
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Human Personality and its Survival of Bodily Death – F W H Myers
Louise Lateau of Bois d’Haine, Hainault, Belgium … had good health up to the age of seventeen, was accustomed to hard work, …. was noted for her common sense and power of self control, and bore a good character with all her neighbours and acquaintances, showing no traces, either physical or moral, of any hysterical tendencies
An illness of indefinite character, involving intense neuralgic pains, began in 1867 and lasted for months. In April 1868, she was thought to be dying and received the sacrament. From that day she rapidly improved. Three days later the stigmata first appeared, and thirteen weeks later she began to exhibit the phenomena of ecstasy. Blood began issuing from certain locations on her skin every Friday – on the back and palm of each hand, on the dorsum and sole of each foot, on the forehead and on the chest. The bleeding usually lasted twenty four hours.
It was the religious authorities who requested Dr Lefebvre, an eminent Louvain specialist in nervous diseases, to undertake the examination of the case. She was under his superintendence from August 30th 1868 for twenty weeks, during which time he took more than a hundred medical friends to examine the phenomena.
The chief authority for this case is Dr Lefebvre’s report Louise Lateau de Bois d’Haine: sa vie, ses extases, ses stigmates (Louvain 1879). Dr Warlomont examined her six years later, and found that the places of the stigmata had become continuously painful and that there was an additional stigmata on the right shoulder