Victim Souls experience intensely the redemptive power of human suffering, because they are persons chosen by God to undergo abnormally intense physical and sometimes spiritual suffering for the salvation of others.
St. Paul’s declares, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church” (Col 1:24).
Although Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption, we are “heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him” (Rom 8:17).
The crosses some people bear are much heavier than our own, as the pains of this life ― the opportunities for redemptive suffering ― are not distributed equally or even proportionately among humanity. Scripture assures we are capable of carrying whatever cross God asks of us, because we will receive strength to endure the cross.
“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
In the victim soul, such redemptive suffering takes an intense, personal form, a gift of grace often accompanied by mystical phenomena, such as visions and locutions, along with seasons of excruciating physical and spiritual pain.
The stigmata comprises the crucifixion wounds of Christ on the victim soul’s body, as bloody and unhealed wounds on the palms, feet, side or forehead. “Invisible stigmata” comprises the pains of Our Lord’s Passion without the physical wounds.
St. Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938), the “Apostle of Divine Mercy,” suffered invisible stigmata. St. Pio of Pietrelcina (1887-1968) had poor health most of his life, and was frequently attacked physically and spiritually by the devil.