St. Veronica

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St. Veronica

In several regions of Christendom there is honored under this name a pious matron of Jerusalem who, during the Passion of Christ, as one of the holy women who accompanied Him to Calvary, offered Him a towel on which he left the imprint of His face. She went to Rome, bringing with her this image of Christ, which was long exposed to public veneration. To her likewise are traced other relics of the Blessed Virgin venerated in several churches of the West. The belief in the existence of authentic images of Christ is connected with the old legend of Abgar of Edessa and the apocryphal writing known as the “Mors Pilati”. To distinguish at Rome the oldest and best known of these images it was called vera icon (true image), which ordinary language soon made veronica. It is thus designated in several medieval texts mentioned by the Bollandists (e.g. an old Missal of Augsburg has a Mass “De S. Veronica seu Vultus Domini”), and Matthew of Westminster speaks of the imprint of the image of the Savior which is called Veronica: “Effigies Domenici vultus quae Veronica nuncupatur”. By degrees, popular imagination mistook this word for the name of a person and attached thereto several legends which vary according to the country.

In Italy Veronica comes to Rome at the summons of the Emperor Tiberius, whom she cures by making him touch the sacred image. She thenceforth remains in the capitol of the empire, living there at the same time as Sts. Peter and Paul, and at her death bequeaths the precious image to Pope Clement and his successors.
In France she is given in marriage to Zacheus, the convert of the Gospel, accompanies him to Rome, and then to Quiercy, where her husband becomes a hermit, under the name of Amadour, in the region now called Rocamadour. Meanwhile Veronica joins Martial, whom she assists in his apostolic preaching.
In the region of Bordeaux Veronica, shortly after the Ascension of Christ, lands at Soulac at the mouth of the Gironde, bringing relics of the Blessed Virgin; there she preaches, dies, and is buried in the tomb which was long venerated either at Soulac or in the Church of St. Seurin at Bordeaux. Sometimes she has even been confounded with a pious woman who, according to Gregory of Tours, brought to the neighboring town of Bazas some drops of the blood of John the Baptist, at whose beheading she was present.
In many places she is identified with the Haemorrhissa who was cured in the Gospel.
These pious traditions cannot be documented, but there is no reason why the belief that such an act of compassion did occur should not find expression in the veneration paid to one called Veronica, even though the name has found no place in the Hieronymian Martyrology or the oldest historical Martyrologies, and St. Charles Borromeo excluded the Office of St. Veronica from the Milan Missal where it had been introduced. The Roman Martyrology also records at Milan St. Veronica de Binasco, the Order of St. Augustine, on 13 January, and St. Veronica Giuliani on 9 July.


Acta SS. Bolland., Feb. I (Paris, 1863); Maury, Lettres sur l’etymologie du nom de Veronique, apotre de l’Aquitaine (Toulouse, 1877); Bourrieres, Saint Amadour et Sainte Veronique (Cahors, 1894); Palme, Die deutchen Veronicalegenden des XII Jahrh. (Prague, 1892)

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APA citation. Dégert, A. (1912). St. Veronica. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

MLA citation. Dégert, Antoine. “St. Veronica.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 15. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

SS. Nabor and Felix

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SS. Nabor and Felix, Martyrs

THEY suffered at Milan under Maximian Herculeus about the year 304. Their bodies were first interred without the walls of the city, but afterwards brought into it, and deposited in a place where a church was built over their tomb, to which great multitudes of people resorted with wonderful devotion, as Paulinus testifies in his life of St. Ambrose. In the same church St. Ambrose discovered the relics of SS. Gervasius and Protasius, as himself relates in his letter to his sister Marcellina. The people continued to venerate the relics of SS. Nabor and Felix with the same ardour of devotion, as that holy doctor assures us. 1 They are still honoured in the same church, which at present bears the name of St. Francis. See Solier the Bollandist, t. 3, Julij. p. 280. 1

Note 1. In Luc. l. 7, c. 13.

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume VII: July. The Lives of the Saints. 1866. July 12.


St. John Gualbert

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St. John Gualbert, Abbot

From his exact life compiled by Blaise Melanisius, general of his Order, with the long notes of Cuper the Bollandist. See also two other lives of the saint, with a long history of his miracles, ib. t. 3. Julij, pp. 3, 11.

A.D. 1073.

[Founder of the Religious Order of Vallis Umbrosa.] ST. JOHN GUALBERT was born at Florence of rich and noble parents, and in his youth was carefully instructed in the Christian doctrine and in the elements of the sciences; but afterwards, by conversing with the world, he imbibed a relish for its vanities and follies. While a thirst of worldly pleasure kept possession of his desires, and seemed to him innocent, and while he thought a certain degree of worldly pride the privilege of his birth, he was a stranger to the gospel maxims of penance, meekness, and lowliness of heart; and all arguments of virtue lost their force upon him. But God was pleased, by a remarkable accident, to open his eyes, and to discover to him his errors, and the extent of his obligations. Hugo, his only brother, was murdered by a gentleman of the country; and our young nobleman determined to revenge the crime by the death of him who had perpetrated it, and who seemed out of the reach of the laws. Under the influence of his resentment, which was much heightened by the invectives and persuasion of his own father, Gualbert, he neither listened to the voice of reason nor of religion. The motive of revenge is criminal if it creep into the breast even in demanding the just punishment of a delinquent; much more if it push men to vindicate their own cause themselves by returning injury for injury, and wreaking wrongs on those who inflicted them. But passion stifled remorse, and John was falsely persuaded that his honour in the world required that he should not suffer so flagrant an outrage to pass unpunished. It happened that riding with his man home to Florence on Good Friday, he met his enemy in so narrow a passage that it was impossible for either of them to avoid the other. John seeing the murderer, drew his sword, and was going to dispatch him. But the other lighting from his horse, fell upon his knees, and with his arms across, besought him by the passion of Jesus Christ, who suffered on that day, to spare his life. The remembrance of Christ, who prayed for his murderers on the cross, exceedingly affected the young nobleman; and meekly raising the supplicant from the ground with his hand, he said: “I can refuse nothing that is asked of me for the sake of Jesus Christ. I not only give you your life, but also my friendship for ever. Pray for me that God may pardon me my sin.” After embracing each other they parted, and John went forward on his road till he came to the monastery of St. Minias, 1 of the holy Order of St. Bennet. Going into the church, he offered up his prayers before a great crucifix, begging with many tears and extraordinary fervour that God would mercifully grant him the pardon of his sins. Whilst he continued his prayer the crucifix miraculously bowed its head to him, as it were to give him a token how acceptable the sacrifice of his resentment, and his sincere repentance were. The divine grace made such deep impressions on his heart, that rising from his devotions he cast himself at the feet of the abbot, earnestly begging to be admitted to the religious habit. The abbot was apprehensive of his father’s displeasure; but at length was prevailed upon with much ado to allow him to live in the community in his secular habit. After a few days John cut off his hair himself, and put on a habit which he borrowed. His father, at this news of the step his son had taken, hastened to the monastery, and stormed and complained dreadfully; till after some time seeing the steadiness of his son’s resolution, and hearing his reasons and motives, he was so well satisfied, that he gave him his blessing, and exhorted him to persevere in his good purposes. 1 Continue reading