Veronica is not mentioned in the Bible, but in the tradition of the Church she is a woman who was moved with compassion on seeing Jesus carrying his cross through the streets of Jerusalem, and offered her veil to wipe his blood-covered face. Jesus then gave her his image, impressed upon the cloth of her veil. The story of St. Veronica is celebrated in the sixth Station of the Cross in many Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist, and Western Orthodox churches.
In Walk In Her Sandals, Veronica steps forward in sensitivity and compassion, courageously offering Jesus the only thing she has to give.
Veronica encounters Jesus on Good Friday:
As she wondered at his words, Jesus staggered and fell to his knees, the weight of the cross biting into his shoulders and back. Shouts and jeers erupted around her, but her eyes were drawn to a woman, lurching out of the crowd with a cry of anguish. She was older, about the age of Veronica’s own mother when she died. Veronica knew her, not from Miriam’s description but from the pain etched on the woman’s face—a pain so profound, it could only belong to Jesus’ mother, Mary of Nazareth.
Mary fell to her knees in front of Jesus, her hands reaching out to him, but before she could touch him, a trio of soldiers descended on her, wrenched her to her feet and hurled her back into the crowd. Her red-rimmed eyes met Veronica’s across the gulf of the dusty street.
Veronica’s heart wrenched in her chest. She looked at Jesus again and suddenly saw him anew. He wasn’t a man covered in blood; he wasn’t a criminal. He was a son, loved by Mary in every way that Veronica loved Benjamin. Veronica blinked back tears. How could Mary bear it?
She had been looking for Jesus, but as she gazed at the cloth, she realized that Jesus had been looking for her, just for her. She didn’t understand who he was or why he sought her, but she knew she must follow him; and to follow him, she must follow his mother.
How does Veronica’s gift of sensitivity inspire you to reach out to those in need? Tell me in the comments below.
Encounter Jesus more fully this Lent and follow Veronica’s story in Walk In Her Sandals, Experiencing Christ’s Passion Through The Eyes of Women. To participate in the Lenten Book Club, including a beautiful reflection on Chapter 2 of Walk In Her Sandals, go to