Religion 2812

Symbols in "Stigmata"

The Dove

A Mourning Dove 

 Descending Dove



Statue of St. Francis of Assisi







The Crucifix


The woman in a blue cloak 


Weeping Statue of the Virgin Mary



The name "Frankie"



 The color "red" 





The color "white"


 Doves are frequently shown throughout the movie. When Frankie first recieves the signs of the stigmata, a mourning dove is found flying in her house, one of it's feathers drops into her bath and as she examines it, she recieves the wounds of Christ.  Doves also appear at her window, where she interacts with them and offers food. They are present at the end of the movie after the stigmata has ended, she walks into the garden, holding a dove in her hand. A descending dove is also drawn above the Gospel that Franke writes on her bedroom wall. The dove is a strong symbol of Christian faith. The dove, especially one that is descending is a symbol of the Holy Spirit and are mentioned numerous times in scripture. The dove is representative of grace and Christian artists have depicted doves carrying banners with the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit written on them in Latin. These seven gifts are: wisdom, understanding, cousel, might, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. All of these seven gifts represent stages of Frankie's growth during her experiences with the stigmata. She does gain wisdom of what the stigmata is and what God could mean for her. She begins to search and understand the reason she recieved the signs of the stigmata. She searches counsel in both God and in Father Andrew Kiernan to help her in her journey, as well as keeping the strength to carry the message and survive the pain and suffering associated with stigmata. She gains knowledge in God and Christianity, and in the end desides to trust and devote herself to God. All of these things stemming from and growing from her fear in believing that God is real.





 The Statue of St. Fransis of Assisi is shown at the end of the movie in the garden where Frankie and Father Kiernan are reunited after having revealed the powerful message of the Gospel of Thomas. Frankie is draped all in white and is holding a dove in her hand. As the camera shows Frankie this way, it is also flashed towards a statue of a man draped in a cloak and holding a dove. The man in the statue is St. Fransis of Assisi who was the first person to recieve the stigmata. The statue was shown to compare Frankie to St. Fransis of Assisi, who are dressed and protrayed in the same way.











The Crucfix is a cross with the representaion of Jesus body. This is the principle symbol in Christian relgion and emphasizes Christ's sacrifice to humankind- his death by crucifixion. The Crucifix is shown many times, both to compare Frankie's wounds to those shown on the crucifx, as well as when Frankie is actually recieving the wounds of the stigmata, flashes of crucifixion images are shown.









 When Frankie returns to work for the first time after recieving the signs of the stigmata, she has a vision. She sees a woman draped in a blue cloak with a hood holding a baby draped in a red cloth. The woman lets go of her baby and leaves it crying in the busy city street. Frankie frantically runs out of her salon and into the busy street to find the baby that was left. The blue cloack is most associated with the Virgin Mary, for she and the living Christ are depicted wearing blue mantles. Blue is the color of both truth, clarity, and is the color of heaven. Until this part of the movie, Frankie believed she was pregnant, but after this point she no longer is carrying a child. The woman in blue is representative of the Virgin Mary, and the fact that she leaves her baby is representative of Frankie's loss of faith in God.







Weeping Statues of the Virgin Mary have been seen all over the world and are considered to be a religious miracle. At the beginning of the movie, Father Kiernan is sent to a small church in Brazil to investigate a statue of the Virgin Mary weeping tears of blood. He finds the blood to be human, and wants to continue investigating.  The statue is crying over the death of the church's priest. It is symbolic because the statue is crying over the fact that the message of the secret gospel was not revealed.



The name "Frankie" is short for "Francis". St. Francis of Assisi was the first person ever to recieve the stigmata and that is why the main character was given this name. A consideration for a name for the moive was actualy "St. Francis of Pittsburg".

 The color "red" is shown as bright accents throughout the movie. Whether it be a sweater or blanket in which Frankie wraps herself, or the brightness of the color of blood in Frankie's stigmatic wounds. The color red is representative of many things from love, anger, passion and blood itself. It is a prominant color in Christianity and represents the fiery nature of the Holy Ghost.


The color "white" is shown noticably at the end of the movie, after Frankie's stigmata has ended and the message of the Gospel as been revealed. Frankie is draped completely in white, the sky is dull and white-grey and white doves are flying nearby. White is symbolic of innocence, holiness, and purity of the soul, which is appropriate at the end of the movie after Frankie has discoved God and converted from being an atheist fo a believer in Christianity.



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