Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Tuesday 18 June |
Aleteia logo
separateurCreated with Sketch.

What is bilocation?


Fair Use

Daniel Esparza - published on 06/13/23

The idea of bilocation stems from the belief in the omnipresence of God.

Bilocation, within the context of Catholic theology, refers to a phenomenon in which an individual is believed to be present in two different locations simultaneously. It is a concept deeply rooted in Catholic mysticism and has significant theological dimensions.

The idea of bilocation stems from the belief in the omnipresence of God. According to traditional biblical and Catholic theology, God is present everywhere at all times. In very exceptional cases, and always for the spiritual benefit of those involved, individuals who are spiritually advanced may be granted by God the gift of bilocation. This extraordinary phenomenon allows them to be physically present in two places at the same time, despite the limitations of time and space.

Bilocation, being a manifestation of divine grace, is clearly associated with the concept of mystical union with God. Several saints were reported to have experienced bilocation.

One prominent example is St. Pio, an Italian Capuchin friar who lived in the 20th century. Numerous accounts describe how he would bilocate during his lifetime. People claimed to have seen him simultaneously present in multiple locations, such as celebrating Mass in one place while providing spiritual guidance to someone in another. These alleged instances of bilocation were seen as a testament to Padre Pio’s deep spiritual connection with God, and as a clear sign of God’s loving care for those who spiritually benefitted from Padre Pio’s ministry.  

Another notable example is St. Alphonsus Liguori, an Italian bishop and theologian of the 18th century. Accounts suggest that he would bilocate to attend to his pastoral duties, particularly to administer the sacraments of the Church. It was believed that God granted him the ability to be in two places at once so that he could fulfill his pastoral responsibilities more effectively.

The phenomenon of bilocation is not limited to saints alone. There have been reports of ordinary individuals experiencing bilocation as well. However, the Catholic Church exercises caution and rigorously investigates such claims.

In short, bilocation (at least within the context of Catholic theology) refers to the extraordinary grace granted to an individual to be present in two different locations simultaneously. It is considered a rare and exceptional gift, believed to be granted by God for the spiritual benefit of those involved. The theological dimensions of bilocation are deeply rooted in the concept of divine omnipresence and mystical union with God. While the Church has recognized certain saints as having experienced bilocation, it exercises careful discernment in evaluating such claims to ensure their authenticity.

MiraclesSpiritual Life
Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

Top 10
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.