Saint Veronica, also known as Berenice, is a significant figure in Christian tradition. She is celebrated for having compassionately wiped the face of Christ with a veil as he made his painful journey to Calvary. In an extraordinary twist to the story, it’s believed that the image of Christ’s face was miraculously imprinted on the cloth. Despite the lack of historical evidence or biblical reference to support this event, Veronica’s tale remains one of the most treasured stories in Christian history. The veil she used has also become one of the most venerated relics within the Church.

As the legend continues, Veronica carried the relic away from the Holy Land and used its miraculous properties to cure Emperor Tiberius of a mysterious ailment. This revered veil later resurfaced in Rome during the eighth century, before being relocated to St. Peter’s in 1297, by order of Pope Boniface VIII. Beyond these stories, little is known about Veronica herself. However, in the non-canonical Acts of Pilate, she is associated with the woman referred to in the Gospel of Matthew who was healed of a chronic hemorrhage.

Veronica’s name is likely a Latinisation of Berenice, a name of Greek origin, meaning “bearer of victory”. Some have speculated that her name could be a fusion of Latin and Greek words for “true icon” (Latin: vera & Greek: icon). This linguistic amalgamation would symbolically underscore the authenticity of Veronica’s veil, distinguishing it from other similar religious relics, like those preserved in Milan.

Today, Veronica’s veil is still safeguarded in St. Peter’s, serving as a timeless reminder of her act of kindness. This event is solemnly remembered in the Stations of the Cross ritual. While Veronica is not officially recognized in the Roman Martyrology, she is commemorated with a feast day. Symbols associated with her include the veil bearing Christ’s face and the Crown of Thorns.

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  1. St Veronica pray for victory to be mine over the forces of darkness that is veiling my life and wipe my face with the veil of victory through Christ our lord Amen

  2. Saint Veronica, pray for us. Show us how to see the face of Jesus in our neighbours. Teach us to be charitable and compassionate, to bring relief of suffering in small ways everyday. Amen.
    O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. You saw this woman reach out her hand to help your Son. She helped you bear your own sorrows. Let us do the same.


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