Tuesday, 23 August 2016
Devotion To The Holy Face Of Our Lord By M. Eleanore (Mary Eleanore), Mother, 1890-1940 part 2.
Legend tells us that St. Veronica was a Jewess of sacerdotal family, named Seraphia, and first cousin to St. John the Baptist. She was five years older than the Blessed Virgin and was raised with her among the Maidens of the Temple, being present at Mary’s espousals with St. Joseph. During Our Lord’s public life she often gave Him and His apostles hospitality at her house near the Bethlehem gate. In three very ancient Missals, the Ambrosian, that of the Church of Jaen in Spain, and that of the Church of Aosta, the prayer invokes St. Veronica, who wipes the Face of Our Lord; the Prose adores that Divine Image, and the Gospel is that of the cure of the woman with the issue of blood. (Acta SS. iv. Feb.) Many students of the Bible and of the apocryphal books link the woman cured of the issue of blood with the one who wiped the Face of Our Saviour during His Passion.
Gian Gregorio de Gesu e Maria, an Augustinian friar, in his "Praetorium of Pilate,” Lesson VII, "De Vultu Sancto” (Rome, 1660), thus describes the Sudarium:
"One beholds in it, with the most tender compunction, the head all pierced with thorns, the forehead bleeding, the eyes swollen and blood-clotted, the face deathly pale. On the right cheek is clearly perceptible the impress of the cruel blow given by the iron-gauntleted hand of Malchus, by whom He was buffeted in the house of Annas, and the left cheek bears traces of the spittle of the Jews. The nose is somewhat bruised and discolored; the mouth is open and bespattered with blood; the teeth are loosened; the beard is plucked out in spots; the hair to one side is torn away. Yet the entire Most Holy Face, even thus distorted as it is, breathes such unearthly majesty, love, compassion, and sadness, as to excite in those who venerate it, when exposed to the faithful in the Vatican Basilica, sentiments of holy horror, of sorrowful confidence, and, as a visible testimony of the ingratitude of mankind, produces within the heart of the beholder a flood of penitent grief and burning flames of love towards the Redeemer of the world.”