Levitating Saints : Levitation
is an ability to defy the laws of gravity and move up into the air without
a visible means of support. The early European Church tended to link
this phenomena to diabolical practices and as such it has been widely
There have been a number of incidences of levitation among both Saints,
noteworthy Christians and over 200 Catholic Saints. Some of these
St. Edmund, then Archbishop of Canterbury circa 1242.
St. Teresa of Avila in Madrid during 1680.
Sister Mary an Arabian Carmelite nun in Bethlehem circa 1700.
St. Adolphus Liguori in Foggia during 1777.
Father Suarez at Santa Cruz in Southern Argentina in1911.
Perhaps the most extraordinary levitations of all was St. Joseph of
Copertino born 1603 in Apulia Italy. After 22 years of ascetic
behaviour coupled with religious torture to achieve a state of religious
ecstasy, he finally managed to levitate. At one point a
prayer-induced state of ecstasy resulted in him being transported through
the air at Mass and left across the altar. Pope Urbain VIII was
quite taken aback when St. Joseph of Copertino floated a few feet above
the ground in front of him. It is also reported that he managed to
levitate more than a hundred times until his death in 1663 when he was
canonized because of his unique ability, which was seen by the Church to
have been the work of God.
Today scientists tend to be very sceptical of this type of phenomena,
attributing it largely to mass hypnosis of the audience, clever
illusions or even drug-induced hallucinations.