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Historical references such as Herbert Thurston's The Physical Phenomena of Mysticism (1952), William A. Hammond's On Certain Conditions of Nervous Derangement attribute stigmata to either a hysterical or fraudulent (conscious/unconscious deception) origin. This is supported by recent scholary sources such as Leonard Zusne's Anomalistic Psychology: A Study of Magical Thinking (1989) and Cristina Mazzoni's. Saint Hysteria: Neurosis, Mysticism, and Gender in European Culture (1996).
Some cases of stigmatics who performed conscious trickery are discussed by Joe Nickell, Looking for a Miracle: Weeping Icons, Relics, Stigmata, Visions & Healing Cures, 1993. See also his 2004 article in the Skeptical Inquirer HealthyGirl (talk) 23:11, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
The stigmata of Francis of Assisi may actually be explained by leprosy. This paper discusses it Schazlein, Joanne; Sulmasy, Daniel P. (1987). The Diagnosis of St. Francis: Evidence for Leprosy. Franciscan Studies 47: 181-217.
According to the authors on page 185: "We may summarize the case history of St. Francis as that of a medieval Italian male of probably poor nutritional status with a history of prolonged and intimate exposure to leprosy... In his last two years he developed ulcerated wounds of both hands and feet, six months of anasarca (total body swelling), inanition, and wasting, punctuated by a single episode of hematemesis (vomiting blood), terminating in the expiration of the patient at the age of 44." HealthyGirl (talk) 08:17, 13 May 2016 (UTC)