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Veronica wipes the face of Jesus


V. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.


From the second letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians 4:6

God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

Veronica was one of the women who had followed Jesus, who understood who he was, who loved him; she suffers to see him suffer. Now, standing nearby, she sees his face, that countenance which had so often touched her soul. She sees it distraught, marred and covered with blood, yet ever meek and humble.

He cannot long endure. She wants to relieve his suffering. She takes a cloth and tries to wipe the blood and sweat from that face.

In our lives we have had occasion at times to wipe the tears and sweat of those who suffer. Perhaps we have assisted a terminal patient in the wards of a hospital, or helped an immigrant or someone looking for work, or listened to someone in prison. And in trying to ease their suffering, we may have wiped their face simply by looking upon them with compassion.

And yet, all too seldom do we remember
that in each of our brothers and sisters in need
you, the Son of God, are hidden.
How different would our lives be
if we would but remember this!
Little by little we would become aware of the dignity
of every man, woman and child living on the earth.
Each person, beautiful or not, gifted or not,
whether newly conceived in a mother’s womb
or advanced in age, represents you, Jesus.
And not only. Each of our brothers and sisters is you.
Looking upon you, utterly abased on Calvary,
we will understand with Veronica
that in every human being we can recognize your face.



Pater noster, qui es in caelis:
sanctificetur nomen tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Qui non posset contristari,
Christi Matrem contemplari
dolentem cum Filio?


Copyright 2012 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana