We all know of Veronica as the brave woman who wiped Christ’s face on his way to Calvary. Tradition holds that she was merely a pious woman of Jerusalem. gh Tradition also holds that her veil has gone through a long journey. There is some debate whether or not the veil held in the Vatican as authentic is truly the original. All of that, however, does not matter in the face ( pardon the pun) of what Veronica should represent for each of us.
First, Veronica’s action was based on a powerful desire of charity toward a suffering Christ. In that moment, her only concern was helping someone in need. If we want to follow Christ, we must likewise offer instinctual comfort to those in need, be it actual or in prayer. Such instances will be welcome and necessary breaks in the self-celebration many of us call our lives.
There is no doubt that Veronica had to be very brave to do what she did. She could have been struck, killed, or jailed for rendering aid to Christ, but she did not worry about that. Following Christ today requires courage as well. We must focus on Christ and block out the distractions of this world.
It is clear that Veronica had no doubts or confusion about the importance of what she was doing. She clearly knew what she was doing and why she wanted to do it.
The final impression we receive of Veronica is that she was a person of high character. She was clearly humble despite her bravery, faith, charity, and clarity. There is little mention of her anywhere except in the stations and such writings as those of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich. She did not act as she did for appearance, or for personal agendas. When one acts out of charity, faith, trust, and total abandonment to God, there is no room for personal agendas, and one will act as a true, pure instrument of Our Lord.
St. Veronica is the patron saint of laundry workers and photographers and, given her story, this makes perfect sense. She reminds us that Christ will leave his impression on our souls if we only offer ourselves in his service. If we clean our spiritual laundry and offer God as clean a surface as we can on which to do His Will, He will surely render us living representations of His teaching, and what better role can one have than that?
Gabriel Garnica 2017
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