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Saint Veronica

Saint Veronica , also known as Saint Berenike, was a woman from Jerusalem that was so moved by seeing the Passion of Christ that she gave him her veil so that he could wipe his forehead.

The story of Saint Veronica can not be found in the canonical Gospels, though Luke 8:43-48 does reference a woman touching the hem of Jesus's garment and being completely healed. The apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus records her name as Βερενίκη or Berenike and the name Veronica is a Latinsation of this Macedonian name. A version found in the 1`1th century adds that Christ gave her the cloth with an image of himself on it and a 1380 version links the bearing of the cross together. In 1436, a Spanish knight (Pedro Tafur) visited Rome and recorded the following:

On the right hand is a pillar as high as a small tower, and in it is the holy Veronica. When it is to be exhibited an opening is made in the roof of the church and a wooden chest or cradle is let down, in which are two clerics, and when they have descended, the chest or cradle is drawn up, and they, with the greatest reverence, take out the Veronica and show it to the people, who make concourse there upon the appointed day. It happens often that the worshipers are in danger of their lives, so many are they and so great is the press.

A Carmelite nun living in tours, France, Marie of Saint Peter, reported having visions of Jesus in which she saw Saint Veronica at the passion. As a result of these visions, she began the devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus, a devotion that would be approved by Pope Leo XIII in 1885. In her visions she saw that Saint Veronica wiped away the spit and mud from the face of Jesus and that the sacrireligious and blasphemous acts being done today add to the spit and mud on his face that Saint Veronica wiped away. He told her in the vision that he desired devotion to His Holy Face in reparation for these blasphemies and that Acts of Reparation to Jesus Christ are compared to Saint Veronica wiping his face.

Saint Veronica is venerated in the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church and the Anglican Communion with a feast day on July 12th.

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