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Born: Early First century
Died: Mid-late first century
FEast: July 12th
Patron of:  
photographers, images, laundry, textile workers

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St. Veronica

Bio

 

    It is not known whether or not Veronica was a follower of Jesus or even knew of him before she was present at the Crucifixion. Regardless, she is known as the woman who reached out and wiped Jesus' face with her veil as he passed by on his way to be executed. Jesus, in return, was said to have left an image of his face on the veil.

Though Veronica is not mentioned in the Gospels, there are other stories and traditions about her in the Church. There is also a relic in the Vatican that is said to be her veil on which the image is imprinted. Likely, Veronica was not her name, as the name most likely came by way of an original title for the veil, "Vera Icon", which means "true image".

One of the legends of Veronica says that she traveled to find Jesus on behalf of the sickly Emperor Tiberius who wished to be cured. Touching him with the veil did so, and she continued to live with the Apostles, passing it on to the Pope at the time of her death. Another states that she was the same woman as the one cured of the hemorrhage by touching Jesus' garment.

Today, Veronica is remembered in Stations of the Cross devotions, in which her kind act is represented in the sixth station.

Prayer

 

you saw suffering, and whether you knew Jesus or anything about him or not, you reached out to help. All you could do was wipe his face while soldiers pushed you out of the way. But Let us be as fearless in our pursuit of easing the suffering of others, regardless of how much we can do.

Amen.

Art Reflection

 

Unlike most depictions of Veronica, I chose to have her holding close and covering the image of Jesus in this image rather than holding it out for everyone to see. If she was indeed the woman cured of the hemorrhage, or even just deeply moved by meeting Jesus, I would have guessed she would have wanted to keep it safe and close at least for a little while as she comprehends all that has happened and all that it means. Like many early Church mothers, she also became a safeguard of stories, traditions, and relics.

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