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Veronica, Saint

image cloth christ’s medieval

Several legends concerning Saint Veronica derive from New Testament Apocrypha and later additions. The most significant version for medieval artistic iconography identifies her as a woman of Jerusalem who came forward from the crowd and wiped the sweat from *Christ’s face with a cloth when he paused in carrying the *cross to the site of his *Crucifixion. The image of Christ’s face was miraculously imprinted on this cloth, perhaps offering an explanation for Veronica’s name ( vera icon = true image). The appearance of this image created without human hand but sanctioned by *God offered significant support to those in favor of pictorial imagery, especially during the Byzantine *Iconoclastic Controversy. The *relic of Veronica’s veil ( Sudarium , *Holy Face, Vernicle) has been kept in Rome since the eighth century. Veronica may appear in scenes of the procession to *Calvary, often wearing a turban. She also is found as an independent full- or half-length figure, extracted from the pictorial narrative context, holding and displaying the cloth with the image of Christ’s face in front of her Late medieval works include expanded versions of the Veronica story (she journeyed to Rome to cure the emperor Tiberius with the relic; she accompanied her husband Zacchaeus, *Mary Magdalene, and *Martha to Rocamadour in France; she was the cousin of Saint *John the Baptist). She has also been identified as the *Woman with an Issue of Blood. For eastern variations on a similar story,

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