From the Sixth Station of the Cross
Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless thee.
R. Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.
He grew like a sprout in his presence, like a root
that sprouts from arid earth, without any form nor
beauty that would attract our glance, without any
aspect that could please us. Unappreciated, discarded
by men, overflowing with pains and accustomed to
suffering, like one we cut off from view, so
unappreciated that we think of him as being nothing.
Book of the Prophet Isaiah 53:2-3
My heart hath said to thee: My face hath sought
thee: thy face, O Lord, will I still seek. Turn
not away thy face from me; decline not in thy
wrath from thy servant. Be thou my helper, forsake
me not; do not thou despise me, O God my Saviour.
Book of Psalms 26:8-9
Saint Matthew 5:8
by Bernardo Strozzi; 1628;Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain ;
Road to Calvary with Veronica’s Veil
by Giovanni Cariani; 1523-25; Pinacoteca Tosio Martingo, Brescia, Italy;
Saint Veronica by Guido Reni (1575-1642); Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, Russia
Sixth Station of the Cross Meditation
"Your face, Lord, do I seek. Hide not your face
from me" (Ps 27:8-9).
Veronica - Bernice, in the Greek tradition – embodies
the universal yearning of the devout men and women of
the Old Testament, the yearning of all believers to
see the face of God.
On Jesus’ Way of the Cross, though, she at first did
nothing more than perform an act of womanly kindness:
she held out a facecloth to Jesus.
She did not let herself be deterred by the brutality of
the soldiers or the fear which gripped the disciples.
She is the image of that good woman, who, amid turmoil
and dismay, shows the courage born of goodness and does
not allow her heart to be bewildered.
"Blessed are the pure in heart", the Lord had said in his
Sermon on the Mount, “for they shall see God” (Mt 5:8).
At first, Veronica saw only a buffeted and pain-filled face.
Yet her act of love impressed the true image of Jesus on her
heart: on his human face, bloodied and bruised, she saw the
face of God and his goodness, which accompanies us even in
our deepest sorrows.
Only with the heart can we see Jesus.
Only love purifies us and gives us the ability to see.
Only love enables us to recognize the God
who is love itself.
Sixth Station of the Cross Prayer
O Lord, grant us hearts eager to seek your face.
Keep us from the blindness of heart which sees only
the surface of things.
Give us the simplicity and purity which allow us to
recognize your presence in the world.
When we are not able to accomplish great things,
grant us the courage which is born of humility
Impress your face on our hearts.
May we encounter you along the way and show your image
to the world. Amen
Prayer to Saint Veronica
Dear Saint Veronica, you lovingly offered Jesus Christ a
cloth on His way to Golgotha, which He used to wipe the
Precious Blood from His Holy Face.
In return for this great act of kindness that you gave to
Him, He left you His most Holy image on the cloth.
Saint Veronica, pray for us to our Lord Jesus that
His Holy Face may be imprinted on our hearts, so that
we may always be mindful of His tortuous Passion and
Death, which he endured for love of us.
Dearest Saint Veronica, increase our desire to gaze upon
that most radiant face of our Redeemer, that face that so
closely resembles the face of His mother, Holy Mary.
May our longing for the beatific vision, of beholding God
face to face, motivate us to give our lives away in service
to the Lord.
May we ceaselessly search Our Lord Jesus Christ in the face
of the poor, the sick, the dying, the lonely, the rejected,
and the unloved.
May we joyfully sing out with the psalmist, "Of You my heart
has spoken; seek His face. It is Your face O Lord that I seek,
hide not Your face." Amen
Feast of Saint Veronica - Wiping the Face of Jesus with her Love
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The Apostolic Blessing by the Holy See in Rome is bestowed (October 28, 2013)
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