In several regions of Christendom, there is honored under the name
"Veronica", a pious matron of Jerusalem who, during the
Passion of Jesus Christ, as one of the holy women who accompanied
Him to Calvary, and offered Him a linen towel on
which He left the imprint of His Face. This event is commemorated in the
Sixth Station of the Cross. Some say she later went to Rome, bringing with her
this Miraculous Image of Christ, which was long exposed to public veneration.
To Veronica were also traced other relics of the Blessed Virgin venerated in several churches of the West.
This linen image was called the Vera Icon (true image) which soon became known as Veronica. By degrees, popular imagination mistook
this word for the name of the person. Several legends exist which vary according to country:
Veronica is said to have come to Rome at the summons of Emperor Tiberius, whom she cured by making him touch the
Sacred Image of Christ. She then remained in the capitol of the Roman Empire, living there at the same time as Saints Peter and Paul;
and at her death bequeathed the precious image to Pope Clement and his successors.
Veronica is said to be married to Zacheus, a convert of the Gospel, accompanies him to Rome, and then to Quiercy, where her husband becomes
a hermit, under the name of Amadour, in the region now called Rocamahour. Meanwhile Veronica joins Martial, whom she assisted in his
region of Bordeaux, shortly after the Ascension of Christ, Veronica is said to have landed at
Soulac at the mouth of the Gironde, bringing relics of the Blessed Virgin. There she preaches,
dies and is buried in the tomb which was long venerated either at Soulac or in the Church of Saint Seurin
at Bordeaux. Sometimes she has even been confounded with a pious woman who, according to Gregory of Tours, brought to the neighboring
town of Bazas, some drops of the blood of John the Baptist, at whose beheading she was present.
in many places she is identified with the Haemorrhissa (the woman with the issue of bleeding whom Jesus cured).
These Pious Traditions can not be documented, but there is no reason why the belief that such an Act of Compassion
did occur should not find expression in the veneration paid to one called Veronica. Did she ever exist at all? The saintly woman who took
pity on Jesus as He passed by? The compassionate woman who wiped
His Brow with her own linen scarf and was Miraculously Rewarded by the imprint
of Jesus' Face, the image not made by human hands? Many stories are written
around her, but did she ever really exist, this Saint of the True Icon, the Vera Icona?
Does she not still exist today whenever a mother takes pity on another mother's child? Does she not still exist
today in each one of us whenever we do some small gesture to help someone else in their suffering, and are
we not rewarded still by the Miracle of discovering the Face of Jesus in our