There are few things in life as unfortunate as developing stigmata. There are, however, several ways to curb their effect on your day-to-day routine. With the proper amount of care and attention, you can live your life just as you did pre-stigmata. As your doctor may have told you, it will take time to “feel normal” again, but, with the help of this handy (and updated) brochure, you’re guaranteed to overcome the challenges of this emotionally taxing condition.

Keep your skin hydrated

Though having stigmata is a well-known and common condition, very few people outside the Roman Catholic faith realize that they’re nearly always accompanied by at least three of the following:

urticaria (hives)
athlete’s foot
tick bites
yeast infection
diaper rash

The above conditions pale in comparison to stigmata, but they should still be given appropriate treatment. These “rascal diseases” often go unnoticed—your doctor may be too concerned about your recently developed stigmata to consider other medical problems. The best way to treat these RDs is by the frequent and liberal use of an oil-based lubricant on affected areas.

Acknowledge your odor

You may not notice the smell of your stigmata … because it’s yours! However, open wounds often smell less than pleasant, especially in elevators and other tight spaces. Approximately one out of every six victims of stigmata experiences what is known as the “Odor of Sanctity.” This is good! What this means for you is that, although your wounds are open and most likely incapable of clotting and healing, they will smell like flowers or old people. If this is the case with your stigmata, congratulate yourself and skip this section. If not, employ the following odor-eliminating techniques:

  • Avoid making “homemade scabs” from absorbent materials—these encourage bacteria
  • Apply light cologne or perfume directly into wounds after each meal
  • Pray for the Odor of Sanctity (not particularly effective)
  • Avoid carpentry and street racing
  • Clean each wound with a separate washcloth
  • Avoid infections by applying stigmatic-friendly hand sanitizer daily

Join a support group for stigmatics

Though subscribing to existentialism is the ideal treatment, support groups offer unparalleled personal comfort. Look in the classified section of newspapers and “liberal publications” for various groups, including Stigmatics Unanimous. However, be aware that some groups that advertise as support groups for stigmatics are actually highly suspect BDSM groups for “pretenders.” Join with caution.

Consider euthanasia

One out of every 67 cases of stigmata ends in death. The question becomes: If this is what happens to stigmatics on earth, what tortures await them after death?

Purchase used clothing and bedsheets

Your neighborhood thrift store is an excellent place to get clothes that will save you money and won’t make you look like a Catholic voodoo doll. Stock up on bedsheets and pillowcases. If you’re a real health nut, consider a plastic mattress pad, one that will make the occasional “stigmaccident” a breeze to clean up.

Avoid playing sports in which
high-fives are mandatory

Although studies show that stigmatics are generally more athletic than nonstigmatics, this does not make you the next Kerri Strug. The last thing your team needs is a home-run celebration spoiled by their high-fiving stigmatic centerfielder.

Finally, know this: you’re in good company!

Just about every Dave, Bill, and John has diabetes or scabies, but you’re in an elite group. VIS, or Very Important Stigmatics, come from all walks of life, but mostly they’re Catholic. How many Muslims do you think are blessed with stigmata? No, not many at all. Not a single recorded instance in history, actually. Puzzling, isn’t it? Regardless, take pride in knowing that you’re in the same boat as the following famous1 people:

Saint Francis of Assisi
Therese Neumann
Saint Catherine of Siena
Saint Veronica Giuliani
Rudy Giuliani
Zlatko Sudac
Saint John of God

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1 Famous either for having stigmata or for unrelated humanitarian reasons, but not both.