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Sixth Station of the Cross

Veronica hands Jesus her veil to wipe his face

There are a series of pictures representing certain aspects in the Passion of Christ, and each one corresponds to a particular incident.

This series is known as The Way of the Cross and this page introduces the Sixth Station.

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Sixth Station

Station 6
Veronica hands Jesus her veil to wipe his face

The Sixth Station is a Greek Catholic Church which recalls the time when Jesus met Veronica. Here is a Greek church which contains her tomb. It is believed that the same silk veil that Veronica used to wipe the sweat and blood from the face of Jesus, has survived the passage of time and since the 13th century has been kept in St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City. Some say the marks of Jesus' face remain on the relic to this day, although the veil is not on public display to see if this might be so.

There is no record of Veronica in the Gospels to support this story; the first mention of Veronica is in the 4th century Acts of Pilate. And the authenticity is not so important anyway - the important thing is the message from the story.

People who do heavy manual work or vigorous exercise, like running a marathon, can get accustomed to sweat. They also know how refreshing it is to wipe it away. And if they are lucky enough for somebody else to wipe the sweat, this gives a remarkably refreshing boost to the labourer. The soothing effect does not last long of course, but often these small tokens are just what is needed, that little yet important lift, to keep someone going.

We should never miss an opportunity to help others, even if our contribution seems like a drop in the ocean. A pound (or dollar) is worth so much more to that homeless man than to you. You won't miss it. Even if it means a bit of courage to step out from the crowd, as Veronica did.

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