Saint Veronica Giuliani (1660-1727), Capuchin mystic and stigmatist. Regarded as one of the most extraordinary mystics of her time, Veronica was the recipient of the stigmata and visions of Christ in 1697. She impressed her fellow nuns by remaining remarkably practical despite her numerous ecstatic experiences, leading her order toward union with Christ in His suffering.
Saint Veronica was born named Ursula, in Binasco, Italy (near Milan), the daughter of pious parents. From an early age, Veronica demonstrated signs of sanctity. It is told that when she was only eighteen months old, she uttered her first words a shop clerk who was trying to sell her mother a false measure of oil, saying distinctly, "Do justice, God sees you."
Sometime in Ursula’s adolescence, her mother passed away, after first consecrating her daughter to the wounds of Christ. Her father, raising five girls on his own, also received a significant promotion at the time, becoming the superintendent of finance at Piacenza. In her writings, Ursula confessed that she enjoyed the privileges and wealth that her father’s position afforded the family, but through a series of visions came to realize that a religious life was her calling. Despite her father’s urging to marry—and his arrangement of several suitors for her—Ursula refused. She fell ill, and only recovered upon receiving her father’s permission to join the convent of Capuchin Poor Clares in Citt' di Castello.
"I commend this new daughter to your special care, for she will one day be a great saint." In her writings, Saint Veronica details the trials and struggles she underwent during her novitiate, tempted to leave the order and return to the world. However, she embraced her calling, and demonstrated obedience, Christian meekness, and submissiveness to her superiors, earning her the respect and admiration of her sisters. The following year, in 1678, she professed her entrance into the Capuchin Order, and began receiving heavenly visions, desiring to suffer in union with Christ for the conversion of sinners.
Saint Veronica’s first vision occurred one day, while praying alone in her cell. Jesus appeared to her, carrying His cross on His shoulder. He asked her, “What do you wish?”
Veronica replied, “That Cross, and I wish for You, for Your love.”
In 1693, Jesus again appeared to Saint Veronica, showing her a chalice full of liquid, which seemed to be on fire. He told her, “If you want to be Mine, you must taste this liquid for my love.” Veronica later wrote that when He placed just a few drops of the liquid on her tongue, she was filled with such indescribable bitterness and sadness, she thought she would die. Her tongue became dry and from that day on, she could not taste anything. From that time on, the suffering of the Passion of Christ was continuously experienced by Saint Veronica, causing her extreme suffering and sadness. Despite this great weight, she never complained, joining her suffering to that of Christ for the conversion of sinners.
“See what sinners have done to me?”
Veronica wrote in her diary, following that vision: “Seeing the great agony that my Lord was in, I begged Him to give Me His Crown. He placed it on my head; I suffered so much, I thought I was dying.” Veronica received the stigmata of the crown of thorns, which remained permanently etched on her forehead. She could be observed to be bleeding beneath her veil, such was the wound she suffered. Her superior, and eventually her bishop, ordered her to receive medical care, which she obediently undertook. However, she received little comfort.
The last of her visions occurred on Christmas Day, when the Infant Jesus appeared to Veronica. She awoke with a deep pain in her heart, and found herself to be bleeding. Her heart ached so painfully, she was unable to sleep. Jesus told her that she would have to bears the marks of His wounds, feeling the lance and nails he felt on the cross. She wrote in her diary:
“In an instant, I saw five shining rays shooting out from His Wounds, coming towards me. I watched as they turned into little flames. Four of them (the flames) contained the nails, and the fifth one contained the lance, golden and all aflame, and it pierced my heart. The nails pierced my hands and feet.” Embracing the crucifix from her wall, Veronica said: “My Lord, pains with pains, thorns with thorns, sores with sores, here I am all Yours, crucified with You, crowned with thorns with You, wounded with You.”
In 1716, Saint Veronica was elected Abbess, a position she held until her death eleven years later. Her body remains beautifully incorrupt and can be seen at the Monastery of St. Veronica Giuliani in Citt` di Castello, Italy.
Inspired by the origins and spiritual history of the Holy Rosary, we continue our meditation on the psalms, one each day, in order, for 150 days.
Today’s Psalm: Psalm 75: God the Just Judge of the Wicked
1 We give thanks to you, O God,
we give thanks, for your Name is near;
men tell of your wonderful deeds.
2 You say, "I choose the appointed time;
it is I who judge uprightly.
3 When the earth and all its people quake,
it is I who hold its pillars firm.
4 To the arrogant I say, 'Boast no more,'
and to the wicked, 'Do not lift up your horns.
5 Do not lift your horns against heaven;
do not speak with outstretched neck.' "
6 No one from the east or the west
or from the desert can exalt a man.
7 But it is God who judges:
He brings one down, he exalts another.
8 In the hand of the LORD is a cup
full of foaming wine mixed with spices;
he pours it out, and all the wicked of the earth
drink it down to its very dregs.
9 As for me, I will declare this forever;
I will sing praise to the God of Jacob.
10 I will cut off the horns of all the wicked,
but the horns of the righteous will be lifted up.
Day 190 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Comfort in our suffering; Union with Christ.
Requested Intentions: For a recovery and sanctification (X); For a daughter struggling with disease and illness (T); For all lost children (I); Prosperity, health, healing, and conversion for a family (M); Health and healing of a mother (A); Healing of heart and mind (T); Healing of a new relationship before marriage (K); Healing of a relationship (T); Eternal rest for the dearly departed, end to financial struggles, successful sale of home, ability to travel on pilgrimage (L); For healing of a stomach illness (L); For the repose of the soul of a sister (C); Vocational security for family, Financial security for daughter beginning college (M); Vocational guidance, courage and strength (I); Health for an ailing nephew (A); Those suffering from depression (J); Successful adoption (S); Healing of a father battling cancer (S).
Psalm: Psalm 75: God the Just Judge of the Wicked
Why pray the Rosary every day for a year?
Each time the Blessed Virgin has appeared-- whether it be to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes; to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima; or to Mariette Beco at Banneux-- she has asserted the importance, saving grace, and power of praying the Holy Rosary on a daily basis. Based upon her words, the Rosary is penance and conversion for sinners, a pathway to peace, an end to war, and a powerful act of faith in Jesus Christ. Pope Paul VI presented the Rosary as a powerful means to reach Christ "not merely with Mary but indeed, insofar as this is possible to us, in the same way as Mary, who is certainly the one who thought about Him more than anyone else has ever done."
To show us how this is done, perhaps no one has been more eloquent than the great Cardinal Newman, who wrote: "The great power of the Rosary consists in the fact that it translates the Creed into Prayer. Of course, the Creed is already in a certain sense a prayer and a great act of homage towards God, but the Rosary brings us to meditate again on the great truth of His life and death, and brings this truth close to our hearts. Even Christians, although they know God, usually fear rather than love Him. The strength of the Rosary lies in the particular manner in which it considers these mysteries, since all our thinking about Christ is intertwined with the thought of His Mother, in the relations between Mother and Son; the Holy Family is presented to us, the home in which God lived His infinite love."
As Mary said at Fatima, "Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne."