This profile is slightly different from the others, as Veronica doesn’t actually appear anywhere in the Bible. It’s strange that someone so blessed by Jesus and so important in His Passion receives no mention in any of the gospels! But, thankfully, we do hear her story in the Stations of the Cross as the first woman that Jesus encounters on His journey to Calvary.
In the 5th station we see Simon of Cyrene come to help carry the cross and share the load with Jesus. In the 6th, the help He receives is emotional rather than physical. Seeing Christ struggle under the weight of the cross, and knowing how much further He must walk with it, Veronica ran from the crowd to wipe the sweat and blood from His face.
The act may have been small, but it took immense bravery to do it. In return she was blessed more than she could ever have imagined! The face of her Lord was imprinted on the veil as a sacred memento of her sacrifice for the Lord.
All Veronica did was offer her veil for Jesus to wipe His face. It wasn’t much, but it must have made such a difference to Jesus. She couldn’t take the burden of the cross or make the journey physically any easier, but just knowing that she loved and supported Him will have been enough to lift His spirits.
In that moment Jesus was fully human. He felt every pulsation of pain, every shout of mockery and every moment of humiliation. Amid the insults and beatings, Veronica showed Him mercy, and in doing so represented the millions of Christians throughout history who have fought against the crowd to stand up for the truth that Christ is the Messiah. But more importantly she showed a simple act of kindness to a man in need.
We all know someone that we could reach out to. They might need someone to simply pay them a compliment when they’re down or chat to them when they’re lonely. It wouldn’t take much effort, but might take courage to step out of your comfort zone.
Ask yourself this: if that person was Jesus, would you reach out?
“Whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40