The “Veil of Veronica” Sham

In Roman Catholic churches, there is a series of fourteen images hanging on the walls, either as paintings or wooden or stone relief carvings, usually spaced apart between the church’s windows. These “stations of the cross” allegedly depict scenes from the “passion” of Jesus; i.e., events He endured on the day of His crucifixion. It was once a very popular Catholic “devotion” to “pray the stations of the cross,” which entailed walking to each station inside the church and praying the prescribed rote prayer. This devotion was especially popular during Lent and still has its devotees. Oftentimes, a priest will lead a group in praying the stations, which usually takes around thirty to forty-five minutes. The Roman church teaches that those who pray all fourteen stations in succession will receive a “plenary” indulgence. A plenary indulgence is the alleged removal of all temporal punishment that remains after confession that must otherwise be expiated in purgatory.

Nine of the stations of the cross depict Biblical content, but stations 3, 4, 6, 7, and 9 commemorate events not mentioned in the Bible:

  1. Jesus is condemned to death.
  2. Jesus is given His cross.
  3. Jesus falls down for the first time.
  4. Jesus meets His mother Mary.
  5. Simon of Cyrene is forced to carry the cross.
  6. Veronica wipes blood off of Jesus’ face.
  7. Jesus falls down for the second time.
  8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem.
  9. Jesus falls down for the third time.
  10. Jesus is stripped of His clothing.
  11. Jesus is nailed to the cross.
  12. Jesus dies on the cross.
  13. Jesus’ body is removed from the cross.
  14. Jesus’ body is placed in the tomb.

For today, let’s focus on station number six; “Veronica wipes blood off of Jesus’ face.” There is no mention in the Gospel accounts of a woman wiping Jesus’ face as He carried His cross from Jerusalem to Calvary/Golgotha. This was an extra-Biblical tradition that grew in popularity over the centuries.

“According to Church tradition, Veronica was moved with sympathy when she saw Jesus carrying his cross to Golgotha and gave him her veil that he might wipe his forehead. Jesus accepted the offering, held it to his face, and then handed it back to her—the image of his face miraculously impressed upon it. This piece of cloth became known as the Veil of Veronica.” – from Wikipedia.

This mythical Veronica was eventually canonized as a saint in 1885. Several Catholic churches claimed to possess the original Veil of Veronica. One such veil was displayed at the first St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. References are made to the faux veil relic located at St. Peter’s in historical documents beginning in 1199. Some Catholic writers claim that the relic was either destroyed or stolen during the Sack of Rome in 1527, however, a cloth purported to be the Veil of Veronica is displayed every year at St. Peter’s during Lent although the faux image of Jesus’ face is no longer distinguishable.

Let’s dig a little bit deeper into this Veil of Veronica tradition. Upon closer examination, we find that the name, “Veronica,” is actually derived from the Latin words, verum (true) and icon (image). Veronica means “true image.” Get it? What we have here is the alleged “true image” of Jesus’ face on a cloth eventually being adopted as the name of the anonymous woman of Jerusalem who allegedly wiped Jesus’ face! There was no saint “Veronica”! Yes, it’s all a sham legitimized under the cloak of Catholic tradition.

This baseless myth of the Veil of Veronica is just one of thousands of examples of how Catholicism became wrapped around the axle with its innumerable traditions and fables, yet misses the simple Good News! of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.

Wikipedia hyperlinks:

Stations of the Cross
Veil of Veronica
Saint Veronica

36 thoughts on “The “Veil of Veronica” Sham

      1. Thanks, Beth! I imagine many contemporary Catholic scholars would largely agree that a large number of these extra-Biblical myths and legends have no basis in fact, but the hierarchy allows them to continue as “harmless” devotional inspiration for the credulous laity. When the hierarchy pulled Saint Christopher from the liturgical calendar in 1970 because he was shown to be largely a myth, it caused a huge uproar among the laity, many of whom wore a St. Christopher medal as superstitious protection.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. How about the St. Joseph statue! There are two to my knowledge now-the first one it is alledged – that of you ate selling your home if you bury “him” in your back yard upside down your home will sell quicker!
        The second one I learned of as I was cleaning an 87 year old lady’s house! It was new in front of the tv- it is a sleeping man statue- it is called the sleeping St Joseph and of course I see a prayer card underneath this statue- I didn’t read it- I didn’t want it running through my head – I wiped it down and put it back! LOL- I truly love this lady but she will not touch the subject with me on Roman Catholicism 😔😢🙏🏻

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It’s quite funny that you should mention the Catholic superstition of burying St. Joseph statues in the yard to expedite a house sale. I’m usually working at least a week ahead on on my blog posts and today I just happened to be preparing the post for next week’s Throwback Thursday post, a reblog of a post I wrote four years ago about, yup, the popular Catholic superstition of burying St. Joseph statues in the yard to sell a house more quickly! I had never heard of the sleeping St. Joseph statue, so I googled it and I see pope Francis has popularized it. A Catholic article said devotion to “sleeping St. Joseph” is widespread among South American Catholics, which is how Francis got hooked. I said a prayer for the salvation of the woman you mention.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Lol!! I can’t wait to read it!!!
        Thank you for saying a prayer for her… she is a go getter! She is also VERY VERY devout!! The Lord is able!!!!
        I also clean for her daughter and she asked me why we left the “church”- it was nice to be able to tell her lovingly- letting the Holy Spirit guide me… she is close to her mom so I know her mom knows she just won’t even tip toe around the subject with me 😔🙏🏻❤️

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Glad you were able to share your testimony with her daughter. I prayed for her, too. Blinded Catholic souls are so devoted to their religious objects, rituals, details of what’s going on at their parish, etc. but talk to them about Jesus and they have no use for that.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. In Jerusalem you can actually walk the ” real” stations. They even hand out a little map pilgrims can use. Of course, there is some disagreement on exactly where Golgotha actually was, so it may or may not be the correct route Jesus took.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Wally. I would really like to see Jerusalem and Israel someday. Got another trip coming up in July to visit our grandson in Germany. Always a big $$$ proposition, but it will be good to see him, last time was 3 years ago.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Sorry you had to change your plans. Yeah, Germany is a great location. Our son and German daughter-in-law divorced last summer, but her parents are (very) graciously hosting us once again.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Yeah, it’s definitely very gracious of them. Most people would say “Hope you find a nice hotel” given the circumstances and that would be understandable.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. Wonderful post, brother, thank you for breaking down the name in Latin! That really makes things clear as to where this myth came from. These sort of things make their way into mystical and new age circles or history channel documentaries. I remember vaguely hearing about this growing up. Without the miraculous act of God taking a wretch dead in their sins and raising them up, giving them a new heart, making them a new creation, it seems like myths are all there is. After salvation, on the other hand, counterfeit miracles, myths, and mystical items hold no draw. They just can’t compare!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, sister! Yes, you make an excellent point! Without a saving relationship with Jesus Christ and the indwelling Holy Spirit elucidating God’s Word, works-righteous religionists feel compelled to fill their spiritual void with SOMETHING, hence these countless fables, myths, and fabrications (not to mention the thick catalog of rituals and ceremonies) all under the umbrella of “sacred tradition.”

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Believers who were never Catholic aren’t aware of it all, and believers who used to be Catholic put it behind them. I forgot about a lot of these traditions until I hear them again from my Catholic radio apologist friend.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, he provides me with regular fodder. I’m going to guesstimate that 95% of Catholics would have absolutely no interest in listening to a hardcore conservative Catholic apologist like Anders.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yes, in coverage of the Notre Dame fire it’s being reported Jesus’ crown of thrones, a shard from his cross, and one of the nails used in the crucifixion were saved – all bogus. I’m sure there were many other alleged relics involved. So silly.

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