Even as a child, St. Veronica fascinated me. She saw what Jesus was going through, both physically and emotionally. She felt compassion strongly enough for her to act. She gave Him exactly what He longed for, and she did it with such tenderness. I am in awe.

And now, as a woman, I am able to more intensely perceive the enormity of her actions, and what she risked.  She could have been beaten for reaching out to a condemned criminal.  Also, during that time period, women were expected to wear veils.  Being seen without one would have been regarded as too sexual.  St. Veronica removed her veil and touched Jesus in a rather intimate way.  What she did would have been regarded as scandalous.  This woman cared more about connecting with Jesus and consoling Him than she cared about her reputation.

I wrote this poem to honour St. Veronica.  She is one of my heroes.

Jostled by the crowd
one face among thousands
and yet she SAW
she FELT
and her heart was pierced
even before the lance
reached His
The pulse between them
drawing her in
to the space between beatings
until it was just her and Him
while angels held their breath
The strangulation
of life-draining bondages
disintegrated around them

and she removed her veil

She touched the Pain
she touched the Blood
she touched the Man
their souls drenched in tears
and even before His image
adorned her covering
His imprint
sprung as a living flame
within her heart


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