Memorial: February 4 -
Also known as: Berenice or Saint Véronique
In several regions of Christendom there is honored under this name a pious
matron of Jerusalem who, during the Passion of Christ, as one of the holy women
who accompanied Him to Calvary, offered Him a towel.
Jesus accepted the offering and after using it handed it back to her, creating
the image of His face miraculously impressed upon it.
The name "Veronica" itself comes from the Latin Vero Icone, or true image of
Unfortunately, there is no historical evidence or scriptural reference to this
event, but the legend of Veronica became one of the most popular in Christian
lore and the veil one of the beloved relics in the Church.
Current tradition among many pious Catholics has it that Veronica was able to
heal Tiberius of a grievous sickness with her napkin, and that the emperor, thus
convinced of the divinity of Christ, forthwith sent Pilate into exile.
When she died, she left the cloth to Pope Saint Clement. A 'veil of Veronica' is
preserved at Saint Peter's in Rome, probably from the 8th century.
St. Veronica is commemorated on Shrove Tuesday, but her festival is not of
The popular modern name for this relic, which is venerated at the Sudarium of
Oviedo among other shrines, is "Veronica's Veil".
Patroness: of the Holy Face of Jesus
Prayer to Saint Veronica
O My Jesus, Saint Veronica served You on the way to Calvary by wiping Your
beloved face with a towel on which Your sacred image then appeared. She
protected this treasure, and whenever people touched it, they were miraculously
healed. I ask her to pray for the growth of my ability to see Your sacred image
in others, to recognize their hurts, to stop and join them on their difficult
journeys, and to feel the same compassion for them as she did for You. Show me
how to wipe their faces, serve their needs, and heal their wounds, reminding me
that as I do this for them, I also do this for You. Saint Veronica, pray for me.
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