Thought for the Day – 12 July – The Memorial of St Veronica


“Bernice Veronica” – both names referring to the Woman who wiped the Face of Jesus, commonly depicted in every Catholic church, at the Sixth Station of the Cross.

Did she exist?   And what does it mean to be “a Veronica?”

The Catholic Church tells us that a veil bearing a miraculous image of the Face of Jesus has existed since the earliest centuries, recorded in history and in art.   About the time this miraculous veil first appeared in Rome, in the Middle Ages, the name “Veronica” referred to the veil itself–“Veronica” meaning “vera” or true, and “icon” meaning image, or even more precisely, “to be present.”   Those who gazed upon the veil bearing the true Face of Jesus stood in God’s presence.   They were turned toward His Face.
Legends sprang up sometime later about a woman named “Veronica,” who was sometimes associated with the woman “Berenice” or “Bernice,” the bleeding woman who touches the hem of Jesus’s garment 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.” —The Catholic Encyclopedia.
St Pope John Paul II expressed the answer to the question of Veronica most beautifully in his poem,


In the crowd walking towards the place

[of the Agony]–

did you open up a gap at some point or were you

[opening it] from the beginning?

And since when? You tell me, Veronica.

Your name was born in the very instant

in which your heart

became an effigy:  the effigy of truth.

Your name was born from what you gazed upon.

–Karol Wojtylaname - st veronica - karol wotyla - st john paul - 12 july 2018

When a soul performs an “act of compassion,” Jesus leaves His image on the “veil” of the soul.   In other words, while contemplating the Face of Jesus in an image, in the Word of God in the Scriptures, in a person made in the image and likeness of God, or above all, in the Eucharist, the soul places itself in the Presence of God.   When we are turned completely toward the Face of God, through a daily face-to-face encounter in prayer–by the power of the Holy Spirit–God gradually transforms the soul into the “True Image” of His Son, Jesus Christ.   As Pope St. John Paul II says, our hearts must become an “effigy of truth,” a “true icon.”   

Then our name too will be born from what we gaze upon.  It will be “Veronica.”

St Veronica pray for us!st-veronica-pray-for-us-21 - 12 JULY 2017

Posted in MORNING Prayers, Pope BENEDICT XVI, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY FACE, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 12 July – The Memorial of St Veronica

One Minute Reflection – 12 July – The Memorial of St Veronica

You have said, “Seek my face”.   My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek”.   Hide not your face from me.   Turn not your servant away in anger, you who have been my help.   Cast me not off, forsake me not, O God of my salvation………Psalm 27:8-9

REFLECTION – “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 recognise the God who is love itself.”…………..Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (24 March 2005)at-first-veronica-saw-only-a-joseph-card-ratzinger-24-march-2005- 12 july 2017

PRAYER – Lord God, grant us restless hearts, hearts which 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 recognise Your presence in the world.   When we are not able to accomplish great things, grant us the courage which is born of humility and goodness. Impress Your Face on our hearts.   May we encounter You along the way and show Your image to the world.   St Veronica, Pray for us! veronica - pray for us - 12 july 2018


Thought for the Day – 30 March 2018 – Good Friday of the Passion of the Lord “Behold the Man” By Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890)

Thought for the Day – 30 March 2018 – Good Friday of the Passion of the Lord

“Behold the Man”

Part two
By Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890)

“I see the figure of a man, whether young or old I cannot tell.   He may be fifty, or he may be thirty. …..CONTINUED HERE – 20 February 2018, Tuesday of the First Week of Lent)


“O injured Lord, what can I say?   I am very guilty concerning You, my brother;  and I shall sink in sullen despair if You do not raise me.   I cannot look on You;  I shrink from You;  I throw my arms round my face;  I crouch to the earth.   Satan will pull me down if You do not take pity.   It is terrible to turn to You;  but oh, turn me and so shall I be turned.

It is a purgatory to endure the sight of You, the sight of myself – I most vile, You most holy.   Yet make me look once more on You whom I have so incomprehensibly affronted, for Your countenance is my only life, my only hope and health lies in looking on You whom I have pierced.   So I put myself before You;  I look on You again;  I endure the pain in order to receive the purification.

O my God, how can I look You in the face when I think of my ingratitude, so deeply seated, so habitual, so immovable – or rather so awfully increasing!

You load me day by day with Your favours and feed me with Yourself, as You did Judas, yet not only do I not profit thereby but I do not even make any acknowledgement at the time.

Lord, how long?   When shall I be free of this real, this fatal captivity?   He who made Judas his prey has got foothold of me in my old age and I cannot get loose.   It is the same day after day.   When will You give me a still greater grace than You have given, the grace to profit by the graces that You give?   When will You give me Your effectual grace, which alone can give life and vigour to this effete, miserable, dying soul of mine?

My God, I know not in what sense I can pain You in Your glorified state but I know that every fresh sin, every fresh ingratitude I now commit, was among the blows and stripes that once fell on You in Your Passion.   Oh, let me have as little share in those past sufferings as possible.   Day by day goes and I find I have been more and more, by the new sins of each day, the cause of them.   I know that at best I have a real share of them all but still it is shocking to find myself having a greater and greater share.   Let others wound You – let not me.   Let me not have to think that You would have had this or that pang of soul or body the less, except for me.

O my God, I am so fast in prison that I cannot get out.   O Mary, pray for me.”o my god how can i look you in the face - behold the man - bl john henry newman - good friday part two - 30 march 2018



Thought for the Day – 20 February 2018 – Tuesday of the First Week of Lent

Thought for the Day – 20 February 2018 – Tuesday of the First Week of Lent

Excerpt from “Behold the Man”, a Lenten Reflection

By Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890)

“I see the figure of a man, whether young or old I cannot tell.   He may be fifty, or he may be thirty.   Sometimes He looks one, sometimes the other.   There is something inexpressible about His face that I cannot solve.   Perhaps, as He bears all burdens, He bears that of old age too.   But so it is;  His face is at once most venerable, yet most childlike, most calm, most sweet, most modest, beaming with sanctity and with loving kindness.   His eyes rivet me and move my heart.   His breath is all fragrant and transports me out of myself.   Oh, I will look upon that face forever and will not cease.

And I see suddenly someone come to Him and raise His hand and sharply strike Him on that heavenly face.   It is a hard hand, the hand of a rude man and perhaps has iron upon it.   It could not be so sudden as to take by surprise, Him who knows all things past and future and He shows no sign of resentment, remaining calm and grave as before;  but the expression of His face is marred;  a great welt arises and in a short time that all-gracious face is hidden from me by the effects of this indignity, as if a cloud came over it.

A hand was lifted up against the face of Christ.

Whose hand was that?   My conscience tells me:  ‘You are the man.’

I trust it is not so with me now.   But, O my soul, contemplate the awful fact.   Fancy Christ before you and fancy yourself lifting up your hand and striking Him!   You will say, ‘It is impossible: I could not do so.’   Yes, you have done so.   When you sinned wilfully, then you have done so.   He is beyond pain now:  still you have struck Him and had it been in the days of His flesh, He would have felt pain.   Turn back in memory and recollect the time, the day, the hour, when by wilful mortal sin, by scoffing at sacred things, or by profaneness, or by hard hatred of your brother, or by acts of impurity, or by deliberate rejection of God’s voice, or in any other devilish way known to you, you have struck the All-Holy One.” (to be continued…………….)

NOTE of Interest:  A second miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed John Henry (2016) is still in progress of investigation by the Congregation for the Causes of Sainthood and if Vatican theologians and doctors conclude the healing is a divine sign of Newman’s sanctity the Pope will be invited to canonise him as the first English saint since 1970 and the first British saint since 1976.a hand was lifted up against the face of christ - john henry newman - 20 feb 2018

Prayer for the Canonisation of Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

God our Father,
You granted to Your servant,
Blessed John Henry Newman,
wonderful gifts of nature and of grace,
that he should be a spiritual light
in the darkness of this world,
an eloquent herald of the Gospel
and a devoted servant
of the one Church of Christ.
With confidence in
his heavenly intercession,
we make the following petition:
[here make your petition]
For his insight into
the mysteries of the kingdom,
his zealous defense
of the teachings of the Church
and his priestly love
for each of Your children,
we pray that he may soon
be numbered among the Saints.
We ask this through Christ our Lord,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God forever.
Amenprayer for the canonisation of bl john henry newman - 20 feb 2018