St. Veronica

In a recent post by one of my new favorite places to visit and simply rest, Don Marco, O.Cist., posted that this past Sunday was, in some martyrologies, the feast day of St. Veronica. I have always loved the story of St. Veronica, whose name - vera icon - when broken apart means "true image." I have attached a short vignette about her life in the link above, but wanted to share a poem by Pope John Paul II who, I must admit, has a strange hold on my spiritual life right now; more on that later.

This excerpt was provided by my friend Honora; I am pleased to say I have officially ordered the Papa's book of poetry so I will be able to share much more in the future.

I wait here for hands with their fill
of daily tasks,
I wait here for hands bearing
ordinary linen.
Raise your hands, Veronica,
to the land of deepest meaning --
raise your hands then,
and touch the face of man.

Your name rose among the people who first noticed your path:
cutting your way you ran.
Did you first learn to cut your way
as the crowds pushed toward the place of Execution --
or did you always know how?
Since when, how long -- tell me, Veronica.
The name rose at the moment when your heart
became an image: an image of truth.
Your name rose from your eyes lost in gazing.

Sister, you long so much to see,
long so much to feel, your eyes are already there;
you want that image in your heart
to make you wholly feeling.
Vision is love's space.

~~The Place Within: The Poetry of Pope John Paul II,
Random House; 1st edition
(October 25, 1994) ISBN 0-679-76064-4,
lyrical poetry

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