The tragedy of Calvary: or the minute details of Christ's life from Palm Sunday morning till the resurrection and ascension taken prophecy, history, revelations and ancient writings by Meagher, Jas. L. (James Luke), 1848-1920
About three hundred feet up the hill, on the left stood a beautiful house, with the door opened. There lived Sirach, a Pharisee.
Sirach, descendant of that chaste Susanna, daughter of Helcia and Joakim, whom the prophet Daniel rescued from the vile charges of lecherous elders, (Daniel xiii.) was of the tribe of Juda, member of the Sanhedrin, friend of Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, who persuaded him that Christ was innocent. In the meetings he refused to vote, with his two friends he left the court that morning and later became a Christian.
He married his relative Seraphia, who at her baptism, after the coming of the Holy Spirit, took the name of Veronica, " The True Likeness." Her father was brother of Zachary the priest, John the Baptist's father. She was therefore of the family of Aaron and Christ's cousin. When Joachim and Anna, the Virgin's parents, went up to Jerusalem to celebrate the great feasts of Israel, they lodged with Zachary their relative, who then lived near the fish market.
Sirach and Seraphia had no children, for Seraphia was not well. When Joseph and Mary brought the child Jesus up from Nazareth, when he was twelve years of age, that he might be confirmed by the laying on of hands, and the prayer-shawl placed on his head and shoulders, a ceremony which admitted him into the meetings of the men of Israel, they lodged with Sirach, and the Lord and Seraphia became great friends. When Christ remained three days in the Temple after the confirmation when he was twelve years old, disputing with the learned Rabbis and elders, he stopped at a little inn outside the Damascus gate, kept by two Essenes, and there Seraphia brought him his meals.
Veronica was the woman who had an issue of blood. (Matt. ix. 20; Luke viii. 43. 44.) "And whose arteries and veins were drained by the flowing of the blood, so that she did not present the appearance of a human being, but was like a corpse, and was speechless every day, so that all the physicians could not cure her. For there was not any hope of life left her. And when Jesus passed by she mysteriously received strength through his overshadowing her, and she took hold of his fringe behind, and immediately in the same hour power filled up what in her was empty, so that she no longer felt any pain." (Report of Pilate to Caesar in Rome.)
As the Lord was passing the house, the housewife Seraphia stood in the door, holding by the ,hand a little girl of about nine years of age, whom she had adopted. She had heard the Lord preach in the Temple, and she had listened and believed. She had prepared a jar of wine for him, and she was waiting for the procession coming up the hill. She was then a magnificent looking Jewess, as she stood there, with a long veil hanging down from her head, and another veil covering the jar of wine on her left arm. She made her way through the crowd, passed the guards, who tried to stop her, and falling on her knees before the Lord, she gave him the veil covering the jar saying: " Allow me to wipe the face of my Lord." Christ took the veil with his left hand, wiped his bloody, dirt-begrimed face, and returned it to her with thanks.
She then tried to give him the jar of wine to drink from, but the guards would not allow him to take it, and they hurriedly pushed Seraphia away from him. The sudden dash of the courageous woman disconcerted the guards, and the Pharisees were exasperated. The whole crowd had stopped at this public act of the brave woman, and they revenged themselves by striking the Lord to make him hurry along, and Seraphia hastened into the house bringing with her the veil.
The veils worn by the Jewish women was not like the veils worn to-day, but were of thick linen or woolen material?, more than three feet wide and twice as long. As soon as Seraphia entered her house, she put the veil on a table, and nearly fainted with excitement. She knelt down by the table, and later when a friend came in, she found her weeping. When they examined the veil they found the Lord's bloody face imprinted on it, and Seraphia exclaimed: "Now I shall indeed leave all with a happy heart, for my Lord has given me a remembrance of himself."
Many legends have come down to us regarding this veil. Tiberius the emperor sent Volusianus to Jerusalem, says one, to bring Jesus to Rome to heal him of a grievous disease. Pilate tells him the details of the crucifixion. Volusianus meets Veronica, who tells him about the veil, and she goes with him to Rome and as soon as Tiberius looked on the picture he was healed. ( Death of Pilate, Apoc. Gosp.)