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Friday 8 April 2016 | Published in Regional


SAMOA – A young Samoan woman claiming to be suffering the stigmata told her story during a special Catholic mass held in Apia last week.

Toaipuapuaga Opapo, 23, was speaking during a mass held at the Catholic Cathedral in Apia, when she reminded that heaven and hell are real.

Two weeks before Easter, she said she saw a vision,the Samoa Observer reports.

“I was uncertain and I asked God to show me what will happen on Easter Friday,” she said.

A day before Easter, Opapo said she had another vision.

“I was alone in a dark forest, the trees were all dried,” she said. “I don’t remember who I was with and what I was doing there.”

Opapo said she sat under a big tree waiting for someone to come looking for her, and then it started to rain.

“I was cold and I was afraid.”

She then tried to find a river because that would be her only way to find her way back to her family.

“When I was getting near a river, I saw a reflection of someone with a veil over the head. I started to get scared, and I prayed to God. I asked him why is he abandoning me?

“There was part of me saying to just give up but on the other side there was something saying no God will save me.”

Opapo said she saw a light and a hand reach down to her. She believes it was Jesus’ hand.

“To be honest if I had not seen this vision, I will never show my face,” said Opapo.

On Good Friday, Toa said she was getting ready for Sunday school when she noticed the changes in her body.

While she was sitting in church, her mother told her that her forehead was bleeding.

The woman played the part of Jesus in a Sunday School Easter play, during which church members noticed wounds appearing on her body.

The wounds mirrored those Christ suffered before and during his crucifixion. His side was pierced and a crown of thorns was pushed on to his head, causing him to bleed.

Video footage of the play show congregation members approaching the front of the church, where she had collapsed, to fan her.

“I was happy to have received these signs,” she said.

During her ordeal, there was a moment that she passed out.

She said God took her through hell and let her see the suffering people will endure if they don’t change their ways.

“People in hell are calling out for help, begging Jesus to save them, but there is nothing that can be done,” said Opapo.

“God also took me to heaven, he let me see how magnificent that place is.”

She said she saw a gate guarded by angels with the book of life.

“I hear angels singing, there was laughter, there was happiness everywhere, children sitting on clouds, everything was white,” she claimed.

“I cried and thought to myself I am not ready to leave my family.”

It was at that point that she regained consciousness.

“When I woke up, they were crying around me at church,” she said. “I burst into tears when I heard my father praying to God that if his will is to take me, he will accept it with all his heart.”

Opapo said she cried because her parents were ready to let go of her.

But she believes it is not her time to go yet.

“God returned me to my earth with a mission to spread his word that there is heaven and there is hell, and to save the lost souls.”

Thosuands of people have taken to social media to discuss the authenticity of the woman’s claims.

Many people are calling the event a miracle.

“If this is not enough to make one believe, then I don’t know what else to prove to the unbelievers and evil-doers,” one woman wrote.

“Believe and have faith. Stigmata is for real. I’m envious of this young woman,” another wrote.

Many others, however, are sceptical, and many are calling the woman a hoax.

One man said people were become gullible and blind.

“My newsfeed is blowing up with this stigmata case in Samoa. I dunno. Let’s take it with a grain of salt,” he wrote.

“This could likely be just a very vulnerable girl who is self-harming and we’re just feeding into the delusion.”

Another said: “Most stupidest thing I’ve ever seen. For one, Jesus died once and for all, so that we don’t suffer and be spiritually dead. No human being can ever fathom the pain he went through when being crucified.”

Opapo is a mother of a young daughter and she said her husband is her number one supporter.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer yesterday, her father Reverand Opapo Oeti said he understands that people will find it hard to believe.

He confirmed that the marks started appearing on Good Friday.

During their church service that morning, his daughter played the role of Jesus in a church skit.

“I am just telling you what I have seen,” he said.

-PNC/Samoa Observer