Friday, March 03, 2006


I don't know about you, but Saint Vernonica — the lady in the Sixth Station of the Cross — has always fascinated me.

And frustrated me, too!

Because I could never find her in the Bible, or in the Martyrology, or in any documentation.

Today, after Mass, we prayed the Stations of the Cross written by John Paul II.

(By the way, if you haven't prayed this version — and you probably have — then I really recommend it.)

Anyway, it turns out that, despite the lack of documentation, "Veronica" was probably one of the ladies who consoled Jesus on the way to His death.

Only her name wasn't really "Vernonica."

This knocks me out!

Remember how, according to tradition, the woman did what she could to comfort the suffering Christ? She went to Him, and, using a clean cloth, wiped His bleeding face.

And, again according to tradition, the image of Christ's face remained on the lady's towel.

This is where it gets good.

In Rome, early Christians deemed the image a "true icon" — vera icon in Latin. And so, after awhile, the image became the lady's name: Veronica.

I love stuff like this. But more than that, I love to meditate on this scene:

Jesus Christ — God made Man struggling agonizingly toward His death and our salvation — and a lady defying all in order to offer Him some consolation by gently wiping the blood from His face.

May we be blessed, in some small way, to emulate Saint Veronica.