Saint Veronica

July 12

Today is the feast of Saint Veronica.  Ora pro nobis.

Very little is known about the woman known as Veronica.   Tradition has it that a women named Seraphina wiped Jesus’ face with her cloth.  The image that appeared on it was known from the very beginning as a Vera Icon or a True Image.  Over time, the two names blended, and Seraphina’s name turned into Veronica.  

This same holy woman—healed by her faith– is later identified as Saint Veronica in the apocryphal “Acts of Pilate.”  According to tradition, Veronica was present on the Via Dolorosa when Jesus carried His cross toward Golgotha. Veronica witnessed Jesus fall beneath the weight of His heavy burden and was so moved, she pushed through the crowd past the Roman soldiers to reach her Lord. Veronica used her veil to wipe the blood and sweat from His face, and as the soldiers forced her away, she bundled her veil and did not look at it again until she returned home. When she finally unfolded the veil, it was imprinted with an image of Christ’s face. The story was later elaborated in the 11th century, that Veronica—upon receiving her veil with the imprint of the face of Christ upon it—took the veil to Rome and miraculously cured the Emperor Tiberius.

The legend of Saint Veronica is one of the most popular in Christian lore and the veil is one of the most beloved relics of the Church, still preserved in Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome.  Saint Veronica’s act of charity and compassion remain an inspiration for us today.





Prayer to Saint Veronica

St. Veronica, you gave Christ a towel on His way to Cavalry
Which He used to wipe the Precious Blood from His Holy Face.
In return for this great act of kindness He left you His most Holy image on the towel.
Pray for us to Our Lord that His Holy Face may be imprinted
on our hearts so that we may be always be mindful of the Passion and Death
of Our lord Jesus Christ, through the same Christ our Lord,

Image: Crop of The shrine to Saint Veronica in Basilica di San Pietro, Vatican City. (4)

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