St. Veronica was born at Mercatello in Urbino, Italy, in 1660, of a well-to-do family. Though she was a very religious person by nature, her father insisted that she marry when she came of age and paraded suitors before her. This so worried the girl that she became ill. Only then did father realize the genuine character of her vocation and allow her to enter the Chapucin convent of Poor Clares at Citta di Castello in Umbria, at the age of seventeen. She was to remain there for the rest of her life.
After her profession, St. Veronica had a vision of Jesus bearing His Cross, and she began to feel acute pain over her heart. In 1693, she had another vision, in which she was offered the chalice of Christ’s suffering. When she accepted it, after a fierce struggle, her body and soul ever afterward carried the marks of our Lord’s sufferings. The next year, the imprint of the crown of thorns appeared on her head, and on Good Friday, 1697, the impress of the five sacred wounds (i.e., the Stigmata).
As a result of these mystical experiences, the Saint became the object of close vigilance on the part of her superiors and the competent religious authorities. Thus, though this caused her much distress and suffering, it also ensured that her mystical experiences were well attested, making her an outstanding case in the history of mystical phenomena. Her humble obedience convinced all of the truth of these mystical experiences.
St. Veronica also possessed a large dosage of common sense and an admirable degree of efficiency. She was novice-mistress of her convent for thirty-four years and diligently laid the foundation for her Sisters under her charge to progress in humility, obedience, and charity. She became abbes eleven years before her death and labored for the convent even in its physical entity. She died on July 9, 1727, leaving behind a catalogue of her religious experiences entitled “Diary of the Passion”, written at the request of her confessor. She was canonized in 1839 by Pope Gregory XVI.
PRAYER: Almighty God, You made St. Veronica glorious by the wounds of the Passion of Your Son. Through her example and prayers enable us to become like Christ, humbly embracing the Cross, so that we may rejoice in the revelation of His glory. Amen.