The veil of Veronica or 'Sudarian' (Latin for cloth) bears
the likeness of the face of Jesus not made by human hands.
The most recent legend recounts that when Veronica--one of the
women of Jerusalem who accompanied Jesus to Calvary--wiped Jesus'
face with her veil His image was left on the cloth. The event
is commerated in the Sixth Station of the Fourteen Stations of
The story of Veronica is sometimes believed not to be historical
because of the lack of recordings of it in Biblical writings.
The Veronica story became a Central Icon of the Western Church
in the Fourteenth Century.
Firm recording of the veil began in 1199 when two Pilgrims, named
Giraldus Cambrensis and Gervase of Tilbury made two accounts of
the existence of the Veronica at different times. In 1297 Pope
Innocent III publically displayed the Veil of St. Veronica and
granted indulgences to those who prayed before it.
During the sack of Rome in 1527 some writers recorded that the
Veronica veil was destroyed. Some reports say the veil was passed
around Rome. Other reports say it was never found by any looters.
Many artists of that time created reproductions of the veil.
In 1616 Pope Urban III not only prohibited reproductions of St
Veronica's veil (or the Veronica), he also ordered all existing
copies of the veil to be destroyed. His edict declared those who
did not turn their copies over to the Vatican would be excommunicated.
No history of the veil of Veronica after that time has been recorded.
On Passion Sunday, the 5th Sunday of Lent, after Traditional Vespers
at 5 p.m., three canons display a heavy frame on the balcony abovr
the statue of Saint Veronica. Vision of the Veronica veil from
that distance is limited.
Definition of Indulgences
The full are partial remission of temporal punishment due for
sins already having been forgiven. Indulgence is granted by the
Church after someone has confessed his sins and received absolution.
Belief, in general, is that indulgences draw from the merit acquired
though Jesus' sacrifice and the penances of the saints.
Definition of Sin
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church mortal sin
is grave and committed knowingly and freely. Mortal sin is the
equivalent of refusing communion with God. The loss of eternal
life that such rejection involves is referred to as 'the eternal
punishment'. All other sins (not mortal) are defined as venial
sins because turning from God in any way must be purified either
here on earth or after death in Purgatory.
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