Pilgrimage Commentary with Gila your Holy Land Guide

 

HOME
BIBLE REFERENCES
BOOKLIST
GILA’S GIFT SHOP
HOLY LAND HEROINES
HOLY SITES:
GILA’S HIGHLIGHTS
PILGRIMS TALK
SONGS & PRAISE
TIPS FOR TOURS
ABOUT GILA
CONTACT
 
 
 


“THEY ALSO WILL ANSWER HIM SAYING, 'LORD WHEN DID WE SEE
  YOU HUNGRY OR THIRSTY ... AND DID NOT MINISTER TO YOU'?
MATTHEW 25:44

 

Holy Land Heroines

Veronica -- A Via Dolorosa Legend

 

As you celebrated Easter this year, did you recall your Jerusalem walk along the Way of the Cross, the Via Dolorosa?  (If you haven't been yet to Jerusalem, I imagine this walk is certainly on your list of "must do" s.)  Do you remember visiting "Pilate's Judgment Hall" and then being jostled by the bustling crowds of shoppers, pilgrims
and vendors while imaging Jesus falling under the weight of the cross as he heads for Calvary?
 

Pilgrims carrying the cross as they walk the Stations of the Cross

Photo:  Gila Yudkin

American pilgrims carrying a cross as they walk along the Via Dolorosa

 
And do you have a memory of Veronica?
 
As Easter approaches every year, the most searched for phrase on my website is "Veronica wipes the face of Jesus bible verse."  As I note this most popular search item, I always laugh to myself, thinking, "Good luck finding a Bible verse about Veronica!"  In fact, there is no such woman in the Gospels.  Veronica is a fourteenth century legend spun around an earlier Christian icon.  The name simply means "true" (vera in Latin) "image" (icon in Greek).
 

Facade of Station Six where Veronica wiped Jesus' face with her handkerchief

Photo:  Gila Yudkin

Facade of Station Six where "Veronica wiped Jesus' face"

 
Station number six on the Via Dolorosa, however, marks the site of the home of Veronica, that noble Jerusalem matron who came forward with a linen cloth in her hands to wipe the dust and blood off Jesus' face.  Tradition has it that she was the nameless woman who was twelve years under an issue of blood who had been cured by touching the fringe of Jesus' garment while he was being thronged by the multitudes at Capernaum. (Luke 8)  In persistent gratitude, she followed Jesus afterwards, wherever he went.
 
As she wiped Jesus' forehead, the image of his face became imprinted upon the cloth. News of this phenomenon allegedly spread all the way to Rome where the emperor Tiberias summoned her.  Legend has it, that just by looking upon the image of Jesus' face upon the linen cloth, Tiberias was cured of his affliction.  Thereafter, the handkerchief acquired the name, "The Veronica," i.e. the "true image."  Later, as the rumor of its miraculous qualities went viral, the handkerchief popularly became known as "Veronica's handkerchief."
 
And what happened to that handkerchief?
 
Here's Mark Twain's take, during his 1867 holy land pilgrimage:
 
"We crossed a street, and came presently to the former residence of St. Veronica. When the Savior passed there, she came out, full of womanly compassion, and spoke pitying words to him, undaunted by the hootings and the threatenings of the mob, and wiped the perspiration from his face with her handkerchief.
 
We had heard so much of St. Veronica, and seen her picture by so many masters, that it was like meeting an old friend unexpectedly to come upon her ancient home in Jerusalem.  The strangest thing about the incident that has made her name so famous, is, that when she wiped the perspiration away, the print of the Savior's face remained upon the handkerchief, a perfect portrait, and so remains unto this day.
 
We knew this, because we saw this handkerchief in a cathedral in Paris, in another in Spain, and in two others in Italy.  In the Milan cathedral it costs five francs to see it, and at St. Peter's, at Rome, it is almost impossible to see it at any price.  No tradition is so amply verified as this of St. Veronica and her handkerchief."
 
This fourteenth century legend of Veronica's handkerchief was even incorporated in the 2004 film, The Passion of the Christ.  As one of my favorite pastors puts it, "It's not in the book, but it's definitely in the movie!"
 

Jerusalem street sign for the Via Dolorosa or Way of the Cross

Photo:  Gila Yudkin

Jerusalem street sign for the Via Dolorosa, or Way of the Cross

 
Today, Via Dolorosa station number six is managed by the order of the Little Sisters of Jesus who hand-craft simple wooden icons of Veronica holding a handkerchief with the image of Jesus' face.  It's quite the spiritual token of affection for a Catholic friend.
 
When you come to Jerusalem, you will encounter lots of legends and traditions enmeshed within the historical biblical sites.  Let's not sneeze at them.  They add a memorable layer of color and contour (and fun) to your biblical journey.
 

Copyright 2012, 2015 Gila Yudkin.  Permission needed for any reuse.

 

COMING TO JERUSALEM? 
BOOK GILA for your customized private tour

 

You are probably familiar with other holy icons such as the true cross, the Holy Grail, and the shroud of Turin.  But are you familiar with holy land icons such as the menorah, the Jerusalem cross, the shofar and St. Peter's fish?  If not, you may want to check out Holy Land Icons.

 

More Holy Land Heroines

 

Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth

Holy Land Heroines -- Mary Magdalena

Bathsheba Victim or Victor

Mary and Elizabeth

Mary Magdalene

Queen Mother Bathsheba  

 


GILA YUDKIN TCHERNIKOVSKI 64A JERUSALEM ISRAEL
gila@itsgila.com

HOME GILA'S GIFT SHOP   HOLY LAND HEROINES  ABOUT GILA


 

Copyright © 2005-2015 Gila Yudkin. All rights reserved.
Holy Land Photography by Gila Yudkin