Collection: St. Veronica

ARTIST: Brenda Nippert


Saint Veronica's story is not recorded in the Bible, but it has been passed along since the beginning of Christianity. It is even one of the Stations of the Cross. The story is of a young woman who stood at the edge of the path as Jesus carried His cross. She was overcome with pity when she saw Jesus suffering, struggling to carry the heavy weight with His tortured and broken body. When she saw Him, dripping with sweat and blood, she couldn't help herself – she ran out into the path and offered Him the veil from her own head to wipe His face. Such a simple thing, yet so profound.

It is through small acts of kindness like this that we go past being human and become holy. Jesus wiped His face and left a miraculous imprint on the cloth. We don't even know her real name, but her small act will never be forgotten. Veronica means “true image” and capturing this image of Jesus is what makes her the patron saint of photographers.

Her feast day is July 12.

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There are no historical records of Veronica Patron Saint of photographers and laundry workers.

The woman of Jerusalem who is said to have been so moved by the suffering of Jesus as He carried His cross to Calvary that she rushed to wipe His face was actually named Bernice. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the 'Veronica' is a colloquial of the Latin word 'Vera' meaning 'truth' and Greek word 'Icon' meaning 'image. The name 'Veronica' --which most refer to as 'Saint Veronica'--actually pertains to the 'Veil of Veronica'. It is the veil which Bernice is said to have removed from her person and used to wipe the face of the suffering Jesus.

Although the Legend of St. Veronica is one of the most popular in Christian lore and the veil is one of the most beloved relics of the Catholic Church there is no record when or where St. Veronica was born.

According to Tradition, when St. Veronica (Bernice) saw Jesus fall beneath the weight of the cross He carried to his pending crucifixion, she was so moved with pity she pushed through the crowd past the Roman Soldiers to reach Jesus. She used her veil to wipe the blood and sweat from His face. The soldiers forced her away from Jesus even as He peered at her with gratitude. She bundled her veil and did not look at it again until she returned home. When she finally unfolded the veil--history does not clarify exactly what kind of material the veil was made from--it was imprinted with an image of Christ's face.

Some stories have alluded to St. Veronica being present at the beheading of St. John the Baptist. Others claim Veronica (Bernice) was a woman whom Jesus cured from a blood issue before His arrest in Jerusalem.

There is no reference to the biography of St. Veronica in the canonical Gospels. Her act of kindness and charity is represented in the Sixth of the Fourteen Stations of the Cross.

St. Veronica is believed to be buried in the tomb in Soulac or in the church of St. Seurin at Bordeaux, France. Her veil (the Veronica) is kept at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican at Rome.

The symbol of Saint Veronica is the veil bearing the face of Christ and the Crown of Thorns. Her feast day is July 12th.