Saint Veronica, by Hans Memling, c. 1470.
|Born||1st century AD |
Caesarea Philippi or Jerusalem, Judea
|Attributes||Cloth that bears the image of Christ's face|
|Patronage||images; laundry workers, pictures, photos, photographers,; Santa Veronica, San Pablo City, Laguna|
Saint Veronica, also known as Berenike, was a woman of Jerusalem in the first century AD according to extra-biblical Christian sacred tradition.A celebrated saint in many pious Christian countries, the 17th-century Acta Sanctorum published by the Bollandists listed her feast under July 12, but the German Jesuit scholar Joseph Braun cited her commemoration in Festi Marianni on 13 January.
According to Church tradition, Veronica was moved with sympathy when she saw Jesus carrying his cross to Golgotha and gave him her veil that he might wipe his forehead. Jesus accepted the offering, held it to his face, and then handed it back to her—the image of his face miraculously impressed upon it. This piece of cloth became known as the Veil of Veronica.
The story of Veronica is celebrated in the sixth Station of the Cross in many Anglican, Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist and Western Orthodox churches.
There is no reference to the story of Veronica and her veil in the canonical gospels. The closest is the miracle of the unnamed woman who was healed by touching the hem of Jesus’s garment (Luke 8:43–48). The apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus gives her name as Berenikē or Beronike (Koinē Greek : Βερενίκη). The name Veronica is a Latinisation of this ancient Macedonian name. The story was later elaborated in the 11th century by adding that Christ gave her a portrait of himself on a cloth, with which she later cured the Emperor Tiberius. The linking of this with the bearing of the cross in the Passion only occurs around 1380, in the internationally popular book Meditations on the life of Christ.
At some point a relic became associated with the story. Pedro Tafur, a Spanish knight visiting Rome in 1436, describes the following in the Church of St. Peter in his 1454 travel account:
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.
However, he does not say specifically that he witnessed for himself this exhibition of the relic.
Some academic sources suggest a different origin for the legend of St. Veronica: that the cloth bearing an image of Jesus' face was known in Latin as the vera icon ("true image"), and that this name for the relic was misinterpreted as the name of a saint. The Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913 writes:
The belief in the existence of authentic images of Christ is connected with the old legend of King Abgar of Edessa and the apocryphal writing known as the "Mors Pilati" ("the Death of Pilate"). To distinguish at Rome the oldest and best known of these images it was called the vera icon (true image), which in the common tongue soon became "Veronica." It is thus designated in several medieval texts mentioned by the Bollandists (e.g. an old Missal of Augsburg has a Mass "De S. Veronica seu Vultus Domini" – "Saint Veronica, or the Face of the Lord"), and Matthew of Westminster speaks of the imprint of the image of the Savior which is called Veronica: "Effigies Domenici vultus quae Veronica nuncupatur" – "effigy of the face of the Lord which is called a Veronica". By degrees, popular imagination mistook this word for the name of a person and attached thereto several legends which vary according to the country. [translations in italics added]
The reference to Abgar is related to a similar legend in the Eastern Church, the Image of Edessa or Mandylion.
The Encyclopædia Britannica says this about the legend:
Eusebius in his Historia Ecclesiastica (vii 18) tells how at Caesarea Philippi lived the woman whom Christ healed of an issue of blood (Matthew 9:20–22). Legend was not long in providing the woman of the Gospel with a name. In the West she was identified with Martha of Bethany; in the East she was called Berenike, or Beronike, the name appearing in as early a work as the "Acta Pilati", the most ancient form of which goes back to the fourth century. The fanciful derivation of the name Veronica from the words Vera Icon (eikon) "true image" dates back to the "Otia Imperialia" (iii 25) of Gervase of Tilbury (fl. 1211), who says: "Est ergo Veronica pictura Domini vera" (translated: "The Veronica is, therefore, a true picture of the Lord.")
Veronica was mentioned in the reported visions of Jesus by Marie of St Peter, a Carmelite nun who lived in Tours, France and started the devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus. In 1844, Sister Marie reported that in a vision, she saw Veronica wiping away the spit and mud from the face of Jesus with her veil on the way to Calvary. She said that sacrilegious and blasphemous acts today are adding to the spit and mud that Veronica wiped away that day. According to Marie of St Peter, in her visions, Jesus told her that he desired devotion to His Holy Face in reparation for sacrilege and blasphemy. Acts of Reparation to Jesus Christ are thus compared to Veronica wiping the face of Jesus.
The Devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus was eventually approved by Pope Leo XIII in 1885. Veronica is commemorated on 12 July.
Saint Veronica is the patron of the French mulquiniers whose representations they celebrated biannually (summer and winter) as in many pious Christian countries. She is also the patron saint of photographers.
In Volume 5 of her work, The Poem of the Man-God , Italian writer and alleged mystic Maria Valtorta depicts Veronica as Nike, who offered the linen cloth to Christ. It is also stated earlier in the same volume that "The one we call Veronica and whom Jesus called Nike..." suggesting that Nike has been mistakenly referred to as Veronica throughout history.
Selma Lagerlöf in Christ Legendsexpands the legend by making Veronica a former servant of the Roman emperor Tiberius, named Faustina, who travels to Jerusalem in search of the Prophet of Nazareth, after learning that he once cured a young woman of leprosy. She travels on behalf of Tiberius, now himself stricken, hoping to bring him a cure and redemption from his evil ways. Faustina arrives on the day of the Crucifixion, and the rest is legend.
Mel Gibson's film The Passion of the Christ (2004) included an episode of Veronica wiping Jesus's face, although she is not referred to by name in the film (she is credited in the film as Seraphia). Anne Catherine Emmerich, one of the inspirational sources to the cited movie, depicts a long description of the Veronica episode and she identifies the true name of Veronica also as Seraphia.
The most common pass with the cape in bullfighting is called a verónica, as the torero holds the cape in the same way as Veronica is usually depicted holding the cloth.
The song "Climb" by Tori Amos on her 2017 album Native Invader contains repeated references to Veronica.
There is only one description of the physical appearance of Jesus given in the New Testament, and the depiction of Jesus in pictorial form was controversial in the early Church. The depiction of him in art took several centuries to reach a conventional standardized form for his physical appearance, which has subsequently remained largely stable since that time. Most images of Jesus have in common a number of traits which are now almost universally associated with Jesus, although variants are seen.
The Gospel of Nicodemus, also known as the Acts of Pilate, is an apocryphal gospel claimed to have been derived from an original Hebrew work written by Nicodemus, who appears in the Gospel of John as an associate of Jesus. The title "Gospel of Nicodemus" is medieval in origin. The dates of its accreted sections are uncertain, but according to the 1907 edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia scholars agree in assigning the resulting work to the middle of the fourth century AD.
A number of claimed relics associated with Jesus have been displayed throughout the history of Christianity. While some individuals believe in the authenticity of Jesus relics, others doubt their validity. For instance, the sixteenth-century philosopher Erasmus wrote about the proliferation of relics, and the number of buildings that could be constructed from wooden relics claimed to be from the crucifixion cross of Jesus. Similarly, at least thirty Holy Nails were venerated as relics across Europe in the early 20th century. Part of the relics are included in the so-called Arma Christi, or the Instruments of the Passion.
According to Christian tradition, the Image of Edessa was a holy relic consisting of a square or rectangle of cloth upon which a miraculous image of the face of Jesus had been imprinted—the first icon ("image"). In the Orthodox Churches, including English-speaking Orthodoxy, the image is generally known as the Mandylion.
The Veil of Veronica, or Sudarium, often called simply "The Veronica" and known in Italian as the Volto Santo or Holy Face, is a Christian relic of a piece of cloth which, according to tradition, bears the likeness of the face of Jesus not made by human hand. Various existing images have been claimed to be the "original" relic, or early copies of it.
The Via Dolorosa is a processional route in the Old City of Jerusalem, believed to be the path that Jesus walked on the way to his crucifixion. The winding route from the former Antonia Fortress to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre — a distance of about 600 metres — is a celebrated place of Christian pilgrimage. The current route has been established since the 18th century, replacing various earlier versions. It is today marked by nine Stations of the Cross; there have been fourteen stations since the late 15th century, with the remaining five stations being inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Pontius Pilate's wife is the unnamed spouse of Pontius Pilate, who appears only once in the Gospel of Matthew, where she intercedes with Pilate on Jesus' behalf. It is uncertain whether Pilate was actually married, although it is likely. In later tradition, she becomes known as Procula or Procla and plays a role in various New Testament Apocrypha. At a later date, she acquires the name Claudia Procula in Western tradition, as well as other names and variants of these names. She is venerated as a saint by the Orthodox Church, the Coptic Church, and the Ethiopian Church. She has also frequently been featured in literature and film.
Acheiropoieta — also called Icons Made Without Hands — are Christian icons which are said to have come into existence miraculously; not created by a human. Invariably these are images of Jesus or the Virgin Mary. The most notable examples that are credited by tradition among the faithful are, in the Eastern church the Mandylion, also known as the Image of Edessa, and the Hodegetria, and several Russian icons, and in the West the Shroud of Turin, Veil of Veronica, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Manoppello Image. The term is also used of icons that are only regarded as normal human copies of a miraculously created original archetype.
Montreuil Abbey, or Montreuil-les-Dames, was a Cistercian nunnery in the Diocese of Laon, France, located at first at Montreuil-en-Thiérache until the 17th century and afterwards in Laon, where it was known as Montreuil-sous-Laon.
The Holy Face of Jesus is a title for specific images which some Catholics believe to be miraculously-formed representations of the face of Jesus Christ. The image obtained from the Shroud of Turin is associated with a specific medal worn by some Roman Catholics and is also one of the Catholic Devotions to Christ.
Marie of Saint Peter, O.C.D. (1816–1848) was a Discalced Carmelite nun who lived in Tours, France. She is best known for starting the devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus which is now one of the approved Catholic devotions and for the Golden Arrow Prayer. She also introduced the "Little Sachet" sacramental.
Blessed Maria Pierina De Micheli (1890–1945) was a Roman Catholic religious Sister who was born near Milan in Italy. She is best known for her association with the Holy Face of Jesus and for introducing a medal bearing an image from the Shroud of Turin as part of this devotion.
Venerable Leo Dupont, also known as "The Holy Man of Tours," or the "Apostle of the Holy Face", was a Catholic who helped spread various Catholic devotions such as that of the Holy Face of Jesus and nightly Eucharistic Adoration. He was declared Venerable by the Holy See during Pope Pius XII's Pontificate and has been awaiting Beatification since 1939.
The Roman Catholic tradition includes a number of devotions to Jesus Christ. Like all Catholic devotions, these prayer forms are not part of the official public liturgy of the Church but are based on the popular spiritual practices of Roman Catholics. Many are officially approved by the Holy See as suitable for spiritual growth but not necessary for salvation.
Holy Week in the Philippines is a significant religious observance for the country's Catholic majority, the Iglesia Filipina Independiente or the Philippine Independent Church and most Protestant groups. One of the few majority Christian countries in Asia, Catholics make up 80 percent of the population, and the Church is one of the country's dominant sociopolitical forces.
The Oratory of the Holy Face is a Roman Catholic prayer oratory in Tours France. It is the site where devotions to the Holy Face of Jesus started in Tours by Venerable Leo Dupont. It receives many Catholic pilgrims every year.
Mar Sleeva Syro-Malabar Church, Mapranam, Thrissur is one of the few churches in Asia which has received the relic of the Holy Cross, part of the Holy blood of Jesus Christ and a piece of the towel used by Veronica to wipe the face of Jesus Christ,during the journey of the Passion, all donated from Vatican by the order of the Pope Leo XIII. Believed to have been constructed in AD 928, it is one of the oldest churches not only in Kerala state, India, but also in India. North of it lies Karuvannur River, the Arattupuzha Temple and the churches of Pallissery and Panamkulam.
The Manoppello Image is an image of a face, often supposed to be Jesus, on a cloth that is stored in a church in the village of Manoppello, Italy. The church, known as Santuario del Volto Santo, is part of a monastery belonging to Capuchin friars. There have been claims that the cloth is the Veil of Veronica.
Camuliana, Camulia, Kamoulianai, or Kamoulia was an ancient town or perhaps a village in ancient Cappadocia, located northwest of Caesarea, today Kayseri in Turkey. It is mostly mentioned in connection with the Image of Camuliana, an acheiropoieton or "icon not made by hands" of the face of Christ, which was one of the earliest of this class of miraculously created icons to be recorded; this is also sometimes referred to simply as the "Camouliana". During Byzantine times, the town was also called Iustinianoupolis Nova.
This tradition began most prominently with St. Francis of Assisi (1182–1226) and spread to other churches in the medieval period. It is also observed by a growing number of Anglicans, Methodists, and Lutherans. It is most commonly done during Lent, especially on Good Friday.
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