Wednesday, 8 September 2010

A Forgotten Saint



St. Veronica is rarely spoken of these days outside of the Stations of the Cross.  There are still Catholic churches named after her and famous paintings or statutes at various holy shrines; however, she remains largely unknown. 

Part of the problem is that there is no scriptural authority for the story that all Catholics learn when they learn the Stations of the Cross.  Remember, the sixth station shows Veronica wiping the face of Jesus as He passes by on His way to Golgotha, carrying His cross.  The story goes that after Jesus had continued on His way, she looked at her veil, which she had used as a towel, and saw there a clear image of His holy face.

Where did this story come from?  It seems to have been known from at least the 4th Century and is elaborated on in several medieval texts.  The story, it seems, combines several elements from scripture, legend and tradition. 

First, we have the woman in the Gospels who touches the hem of Christ's garment and is healed from a flow of blood from which she had suffered for 12 years.  In the Catholic Church, tradition has identified this woman as Martha of Bethany, but in the Eastern Church, this woman was identified as St. Veronica. 

Then there is the famous legend told in the Orthodox churches of King Abgar of Edessa who sent word to Jesus, beging to be healed.  The story goes that Our Lord wiped his face with a cloth and gave the cloth to the King's servants to take to him.  When the King opened the cloth, he found there the image of the face of Our Lord.  Not surprisingly, King Abgar was immediately healed.  You may recall the icon I did called "Made without Hands" -- this is the icon showing the cloth sent to King Abgar. 

Finally, there is the name itself.  In the Eastern Church, this woman was known by the name of Berenice since veronica actually means "true image" -- vera, Latin for "true" and eikon, Greek for "image" or "icon".  Over time, the words for the image on the cloth came to the be name of the saint.

One of the most detailed sources of information we have regarding St. Veronica and her loving and compassionate actions on that first Good Friday come from the visions of Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich.  As you may recall, these visions were the main source used for the depiction of events in the movie "The Passion of Christ".

I was drawn to the icon of St. Veronica because it is actually an icon within an icon.  Plus, one of my dear friends, a religious sister, was called Sr. Mary Veronica and I know she would have been thrilled to have had a drawing of "her" saint.




This next drawing is one I have been intending to post for a long time now and just kept forgetting to do so.  When I told you about the flowers of the genus Crocosmia (see August 7th, 2010 posting), I said that I would be showing you a drawing of the cultivar, Crocosmia bicolour very soon.  That "very soon" has turned into a much longer time than I intended.  So here is it in all its glory.



Then, I want to show you a photo of an adorable looking little Westie puppy.  This little fella is the newest member of Hylott's family.  You have seen many references to Hylott, my friend in Birmingham, Alabama, over the past few years.  He, and his wife, Patsy, have the pleasure of living with this little guy.  What a sweetie.



Finally I want to show you two photos from my collection.  These photographs show a very effective way of settling an argument!  Of course, maybe the two polar bears are not arguing at all -- perhaps this is the way polar bears show fondness for one another!  What do you think?



In the case of these two wolves, I am certain that the one on the right is an older pack member who has had quite enough of whatever the younger wolf was doing.  Maybe the one of the left is tone deaf and wants to join in the howls anyway.  This is a very effective way of keeping another wolf from uttering a single sound!

The most disappointing event which has occurred since I last posted has to do with my newest book.  There are continuing problems with the printing of the book cover.  Everything else is fine; however, the cover is a real nuisance and the new printing facility in Canada that Blurb has employed, just can't seem to get it right.  Oh, well, sooner or later it will all work out.  I am presently trying to get Blurb to reimburse me for the money I have already spent ordering new copies of the book.  Up until today, I kept thinking it must be something I was doing, but with this shipment I realized it has to be them!

May the peace of God be with you all. 

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