St. Veronica

May 10, 2022

Today’s Saint of the day is Saint Veronica. Also known as Berenike, Saint Veronica was a woman from Jerusalem who lived in the first century AD, according to Christian holy tradition derived from sources other than the Bible.

Brief History

According to tradition of the church, Veronica felt pity for Jesus as he carried the cross to Calvary and offered him her veil to clean his brow. Jesus accepted the offer, and when he gave back the veil, it magically included a picture of his face. The artifact that resulted was dubbed the Veil of Veronica.

A venerated saint in a number of devout Christian countries, Veronica’s feast day was given as July 12 in the 17th-century Acta Sanctorum issued by the Bollandists; the German Jesuit scholar Joseph Braun, however, cited her celebration in Festi Marianni on 13 January.

Fun Facts

  • Across many Anglican, Catholic, and Western Orthodox churches, the narrative of Veronica is commemorated in the sixth Station of the Cross.
  • The canonical gospels make no mention of Veronica and her veil.
  • The miracle of the unidentified lady who was cured by touching the hem of Jesus’ robe is the closest mention of Saint Veronica in Canonical gospels.
  • In the 11th century, the narrative was expanded to include Christ giving her a painting of himself on a cloth, which she subsequently used to treat Emperor Tiberius.
  • Veronica was named in Jesus’ alleged visions by Marie of St Peter, a Carmelite nun who founded the devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus at Tours, France.
  • Sister Marie stated in 1844 that she had a vision of Veronica washing the spit and grime from Jesus’ face with her veil on the route to Calvary.
  • In the fifth volume of her work, Maria Valtorta, an Italian writer and reputed mystic, presents Veronica as Nike, who offered Christ the linen fabric.
  • Selma Lagerlöf builds on the tradition in Christ Legends by portraying Veronica as a former Roman emperor Tiberius’s servant named Faustina, who journeys to Jerusalem in pursuit of the Prophet of Nazareth after discovering that he had treated a young lady with leprosy.

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