Neither are the souls of the pious dead separated from the Church which even now is the kingdom of Christ. Otherwise there would be no remembrance of them at the altar of God in the communication of the Body of Christ. -- Saint Augustine of Hippo from “The City of God

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Saint Veronica

Veronica's Veil

There has always been much speculation about who exactly is Veronica and how she became so well known within the Catholic Church and its Traditions. Even though there is not much information about this gracious woman let us remember the compassion she showed to our Lord as He was led to his Crucifixion.

According to Catholic legend Veronica may have been the woman who Jesus healed when she touched his cloth as her suffering was intense. Veronica never forgot Jesus tender mercy in showing her such love in the face of stigmatization which she was subjected to for many years by her contemporaries who wanted nothing to do with her.

Upon hearing of this man Jesus and the outcome of his trial, Veronica journeyed into the streets so she could follow this man of sorrows. The sight that Veronica saw truly shocked and angered her as she witnessed the outright cruelty shown to this most merciful man, Jesus. Veronica continued to follow him as she wept openly at his cruel treatment, and remembered his tender words spoken to her as he healed her of her own pain and anguish.

It was when Jesus fell that Veronica moved to compassion and irrespective of her own safety or the thoughts of others, ran forward to assist this most tragic figure the bloodied body of our Saviour. Veronica through her own tears handed Jesus her cloth so he could wipe his face of the sweat, blood and spittle where many had spat their malice at Him. Veronica was heartbroken at the state of her beloved Lord and tried her hardest to aid Jesus in His need as He turned and looked at her with intense love and gratitude, before once again being whipped to keep moving. Veronica was thrown out of the way as our Lord continued his torturous path to Golgotha!

Veronica could not believe the hatred she saw amongst those who only a short while ago had thrown palms before his feet, how could such a thing happen to such a one as her beloved Lord. Veronica followed her Lord till she could bear no more and holding the cloth close to her heart she grieved the loss of this man, her beloved Lord and Saviour.

At a later time, Veronica who had kept the cloth which had the imprinted face of our Lord and Saviour upon it was told to go to Rome in order to help the Emperor Tiberius who was seriously ill. Upon placing the cloth upon his body Tiberius was instantly healed of his infirmity. The healing of Tiberius may have led to the political downfall of Pilate as he was sent into exile.

Eventually Veronica gave the most Holy veil with the imprint of our Lords face to Pope Clement to keep for the Faithful. But the painful memories of our Lords most cruel death would help Veronica to speak to all she met of the momentous Crucifixion of her Lord and Saviour, who died so that all men may be saved.

Though Veronica kept the cloth in which she wiped the face of our Lord, it is Jesus who captured her heart, and whom she loved till the end, as she spread the Gospel message of Salvation to all who would listen.

Peace of Christ to ALL

Copyright © 2006 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.
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