Saturday, July 12, 2008

Veronica of the Veil

Domenico Fetti. The Veil of Veronica. 1618-20. District of Columbia.

The Veil of Veronica resides at the Capuchin monastery at Monoppello. The (blood)stained cloth’s image is visible or invisible dependent on the angle of light. The Face on it, is like the face on the Shroud of Turin. It had been in Rome some centuries*. It was stolen from Saint Peter’s Basilica, in 1608 and soon was in Monoppello.

In the Acts of Pilate, the woman of the 6th Station of the Cross is Berenike (latinised to Veronika). Eusebius identifies her with the incident in Matthew ix. 20 and Luke viii. 43-44:
And behold a woman who was troubled with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment.

And there was a certain woman having an issue of blood twelve years, who had bestowed all her substance on physicians, and could not be healed by any. She came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment; and immediately the issue of her blood stopped.
* In Dante
s Paradiso Canto XXXI (Longfellow tr.), he alludes to pilgrims:

Qual è colui che forse di Croazia
viene a veder la Veronica nostra
che per l'antica fame non sen sazia,

ma dice nel pensier, fin che si mostra:
'Segnor mio Iesù Cristo, Dio verace,
or fu sì fatta la sembianza vostra?';

As he who peradventure from Croatia
Cometh to gaze at our Veronica,
Who through its ancient fame is never sated,

But says in thought, the while it is displayed,
"My Lord, Christ Jesus, God of very God,
Now was your semblance made like unto this?"

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