Question from Wilberto on 02-11-2004:
|Was there really a Saint Veronica and was she really canonized as a saint?|
|Answer by Matthew Bunson on 02-14-2004:|
|St. Veronica was a woman of Jerusalem who, struck with pity for Christ on the way to Calvary, wiped his face with a cloth (on which the image of his face was imprinted). While there is no reliable historical evidence for this event, the story became widespread in Christian lore, appearing in a variety of forms. In a later version of the apocryphal Acts of Pilate, she was identified with the woman mentioned in Matthew (9:20-22) who suffered from an issue of blood. She supposedly cured the emperor Tiberius with the sacred relic. The Veil of Veronica (or Veronica's Veil) was purportedly seen in Rome from the eighth century, being translated to St. Peter's by Pope Boniface VIII in 1297. Other relics by the same name appeared in other locations, such as Milan.
The name Veronica probably originated, as reported by Giraldus Cambrensis (c. 1147-1223), from the term veronica, derived from the title vera icon (true image). Despite the presence of several veils, the relic was extremely popular during the Middle Ages.
The Stations of the Cross include St. Veronica and the incident of the cloth. St. Veronica is honored with a feast, even though she is not included in the Roman Martyrology, and her feast day: July 12.