In honor of my new calendar Names’s Day for St. Veronica July 12/25, I am posting her new knotakion and a story from her new book I just published with the blessing of Bishop Benjamin. Holy Mother Veronica pray to God for us!
Kontakion: Tone 5
O radiant star in the heavenly realm! O glory of the Saints, Holy Veronica! Teach us with fear and trembling to fall down before our Savior, Christ, noetically touching the Master’s heart with our growing faith and humility. Bestow on us courage. May we grasp the Gospel and carry its message to others, taking up our cross for the healing and salvation of our souls.
St. Veronica’s Wonderworking Veil
In the case of St. Veronica, both the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Churches have iconic representations of St. Veronica holding a cloth or napkin with the image of Christ on it. How did St. Veronica obtain this cloth?
Written tradition, in the Catholic Church, says she wiped the face of Christ, as He carried His Cross. The wiping of Christ’s face by St. Veronica is also remembered in the Stations of the Cross in the Catholic Church, which is a relatively new tradition that started in the 18th century. However, the written account that follows states that St. Veronica sought out Christ to obtain His image, and that Christ, Himself impressed His image on a cloth she gave Him . Which is accurate? We do not know.
“In written texts, her first appearance is in The Avenging of the Savior , from possibly the 7th or 8th century: She explains to an envoy from Rome that during his ministry Jesus had imprinted His face onto a cloth for her. The envoy takes Veronica and the cloth to Rome, where it cures the Emperor Tiberius of leprosy.
What then happened to the cloth is not explained in The Avenging of the Savior nor in the retellings in The Death of Pilate and the Golden Legend. But a cloth with a face purporting to be Christ’s was an object of veneration in Rome from at least the beginning of the 8th century, when John VII had an altar constructed for it in St. Peter’s. In the 13th century, Innocent III organized a procession with the cloth and had a hymn written to honor the “Holy Face…impressed on a kerchief whiter than snow and given to Veronica as a sign of love.”
Did the veil of St. Veronica really exist?
Yes! A document from the Iconoclast Period (see endnote for this) has been found pertaining to her veil being transported from Byzantium to Rome by St. Germanos I in 708.
To order a copy of her beautiful new full color book: https://www.amazon.com/Saint-Veronica-Orthodox-Historical-Liturgical/dp/1973980398/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1531418471&sr=8-11&keywords=Veronica+hughes