St. Veronica Giuliani
Sunday, July 10, 2016
Lived(1660-1727) | Feast Day: Sunday, July 10, 2016
Veronica’s desire to be like Christ crucified was answered with the stigmata.
Veronica was born in Mercatelli, Italy. It is said that when her mother Benedetta was dying she called her five daughters to her bedside and entrusted each of them to one of the five wounds of Jesus. Veronica was entrusted to the wound below Christ’s heart.
At the age of 17, Veronica joined the Poor Clares directed by the Capuchins. Her father had wanted her to marry, but she convinced him to allow her to become a nun. In her first years in the monastery, she worked in the kitchen, infirmary and sacristy and also served as portress. At the age of 34, she was made novice mistress, a position she held for 22 years. When she was 37, Veronica received the stigmata. Life was not the same after that.
Veronica had a lifelong devotion to Christ crucified that eventually became manifested in physical signs. The marks of the crown of thorns appeared on her forehead in 1694 and the five wounds on her body in 1697. Veronica was humiliated by the stigmata itself and by her bishop’s rigorous testing of her experience. He removed the saint from ordinary community life and put her under constant observation. When he decided that the phenomena were authentic, he allowed her to return to normal convent life and continue her service to her sisters.
She died on July 9, 1727, at Città di Castello. Source: Spiritual Trial(Wikipedia)
Church authorities in Rome wanted to test Veronica’s authenticity and so conducted an investigation. She lost the office of novice mistress temporarily and was not allowed to attend Mass except on Sundays or holy days. Through all of this Veronica did not become bitter, and the investigation eventually restored her as novice mistress.
Though she protested against it, at the age of 56 she was elected abbess, an office she held for 11 years until her death. Veronica was very devoted to the Eucharist and to the Sacred Heart. She offered her sufferings for the missions. Veronica was canonized in 1839.
Why did God grant the stigmata to Francis of Assisi and to Veronica? God alone knows the deepest reasons, but as Celano points out, the external sign of the cross is a confirmation of these saints’ commitment to the cross in their lives. The stigmata that appeared in Veronica’s flesh had taken root in her heart many years before. It was a fitting conclusion for her love of God and her charity toward her sisters.
Thomas of Celano says of Francis:
“All the pleasures of the world were a cross to him, because he carried the cross of Christ rooted in his heart. And therefore the stigmata shone forth exteriorly in his flesh, because interiorly that deeply set root was sprouting forth from his mind” (2 Celano, #211).
Prayer of the Church
O Lord Jesus Christ, who didst glorify St. Veronica by the
marks of Thy suffering, grant us the grace to crucify our flesh
and thus become worthy of attaining to the joys of eternity.
Who liveth and reigneth
with Thee and the Holy Spirit,
One God, now and forever. Amen
- Saint of the Day: St. Veronica Giuliani | Saint of the Day | AmericanCatholic.org . 2016. St. Veronica Giuliani | Saint of the Day | AmericanCatholic.org . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.americancatholic.org/features/saints/saint.aspx?id=1440. [Accessed 12 July 2016].
- Image By Clarisas Capuchinas, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3670205
- Prayer of the Church: Habig, Marion A., O.F.M., 1959, ed., The Franciscan book of Saints, Franciscan Herald press, Chicago, Illinois