V. We adore You, O Christ, and we bless You.
R. Because by Your holy Cross, You have redeemed the world.
Relics. Why do we love them so much? The veil of Veronica was one of the most sought after relics until the end of the 15th century. Growing up I loved my faith and I would wonder to myself,
Why do people care so much about these things that came from a dead person who lived hundreds of years ago? Weird!!!
Also, we have Jesus in the Eucharist, so who cares about anything else!” Nail clippings, lockets of hair, flesh, pieces of habits, anything that a holy person touched, etc...It all seemed pretty unnecessary and bizarre to my middle school mind. I admit, now as an adult my view on relics and sacramentals has evolved.
Now I see the beauty, goodness, and necessity of them. They point us to Christ. The point of this stream of consciousness is: I think the fascination with relics comes from the desire to be close to someone/something that was close to God.
To further that idea, we want to be as close to God as possible while here on earth. God is love and we want to be with Love and in Love. I recently watched a short video from Father Dave Pivonka’s series The Wild Goose. In the very first video he was talking about how we constantly need to be reminded that God is Love and He loves us.
This is evident in one of the oldest traditions about Saint Veronica. She is said to be the same woman who was bleeding for twelve years.
“And a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years, who [had spent her whole livelihood on doctors and] was unable to be cured by anyone, came up behind him and touched the tassel on his cloak"
Immediately her bleeding stopped. Jesus then asked,
"Who touched me?"
While all were denying it, Peter said,
Master, the crowds are pushing and pressing in upon you. But Jesus said,
"Someone has touched me; for I know that power has gone out from me."
When the woman realized that she had not escaped notice, she came forward trembling. Falling down before him, she explained in the presence of all the people why she had touched him and how she had been healed immediately.
He said to her,
“Daughter, your faith has saved you; go in peace’” Luke 8:43-48
It’s said this is the same woman who received the veil from Jesus himself as an answer to her desire to see Jesus’ face again. If this healed woman was the same woman who wiped the face of Jesus, how beautiful to think she was able to stop his bleeding face for a second while putting pressure on the cloth that touched his wounds. She was able to love him the same way he loved her.
Saint Alphonsus Liguori writes in his meditations on The Way Of The Cross,
“My beloved Jesus, your face was beautiful before, but in this journey it has lost all its beauty, and the wounds and blood have disfigured it.”
Let us wipe his face with gentleness and stop the hurt for a moment as Veronica did.
Dear Jesus You go to die For very love of me; Let me bear you company; I wish to die with You. -Saint Alphonsus Liguori