Healing Through Holy Therapy

NM asks: “Could you tell me if Hagiotherapy is ok?”

There are two different kinds of hagiotherapy and because I don’t know which one you’re referring to, I’ll explain both.

First, hagiotherapy – which means “holy therapy” – refers to a technique used since Medieval times to treat the sick by contact with relics of the saints, pilgrimages or other religious observances.

Second, hagiography refers to a modern therapeutic model developed by Father Tomislav Ivancic, founder of the Center for Spiritual Help in Zagreb. Fr. Tomislav, who is a member of the International Theological Commission and has given retreats to the Swiss Guards at the Vatican, developed a therapy based on the pathology of the human soul and how to treat it. Influenced by Pope John Paul II’s encyclical, Salvifici doloris, his psychotherapeutic method focuses on purifying one’s life of dysfunctional behavior patterns and is based on the fact that evil causes destruction of the personality as well as of the spirit. For instance, evil persons tend to be miserable, hateful, desperate, impatient, etc., while the spiritually healthy tend to be honest, patient, brave, forgiving, etc. One of the main instruments used in treatment are holy texts, particularly Scripture.

This therapy was originally developed by Dr. Prokop Remes from methods of pastoral therapy and spiritual assistance that were being practiced in the underground Czech Catholic Church during the communist regime. Dr. Remes used it on patients at the Psychiatric Clinic in Prague and for treatment of addicted individuals who were both believers and non-believers. A comprehensive theoretical system was later conceived.

Fr. Ivancic began using it at the Center in 1994 and says it can be applied to all persons, regardless of their belief system, because it is based on the natural moral law.

You can read more about Fr. Ivancic’s work here.

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One Response to “Healing Through Holy Therapy

  1. Hagiotherapy is originally a Croatian model of research and working in the area of a person’s spiritual dimensions.
    The last 10 years of researching the brain and the spirit in philosophy and theology has come to a revolutionary moment of recognizing man and the world. Hagiotherapy is the practical confirmation of those results, and with even more discoveries recognizing illnesses and spiritual suffering and therapy for that. Hagiotherapy is a simple way to implement our mentality, and to verify that the rules of our soul become a daily habit. The soul makes a person weak or strong, healthy or sick, cheerful or sad.
    The area of hagiotherapy research is placed between psychology and theology, and also between a persons psyche and his religion. Haiotherapy teaches about the spirit soul and that which makes a person specific, with life, intellect, character, conscious, free, with intelligence and memories, creativity, free will, virtues, culture, religious beliefs, sense direction, ethnic and moral rules, love and trust.
    In Croatia hagiotherapy has developed from the second half of the seventies, and the beginning of the eighties in other countries. Until today in Croatia and in other countries (Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Italy) a number of centers have opened for hagiotherapy.
    Hagiotherapy is for all people, as is somatic and psychiatric medicine, without regards to race, gender, age, religion, or outlook on the world.
    The Founder of Hagiotherapy is Mons. Dr. professor Tomislav Ivančić, one of the most recognized and respected theologists and theological-philosophical antropologists in Croatia.
    He is a priest in the first order at the Zagreb bishopric and member of the international theological commission.
    The entire research team for theological and philosophical work was rewarded by the first Croatian president Dr. Franjo Tuđman with high recognition for scientific work by order of the Croatian Danice with medals for Ruđer Bošković.
    The area of his scientific work were philosophy, theology, anthropology, spiritual pathology, and therapy for evangelization and ethical-moral transformation of society. He is founder of the center for spiritual assistence and hagiotherapy in Croatia and abroad. Until how he has written 24 scientific, and 50 profesional books, 80 scientific articles that were reported in scientific journals with international recension on boards of scientific symposiums, 325 professional articles and around 150 recensions with hundreds of various presentations. He initiated the movement for the journal Hagiohr and is a continuous member of the editorial office..