The Veil of Veronica – The True Face of Christ?

Graphik_VeraIconThe Veil of Veronica is one of the most mysterious relics of the Christian West, but it is the true face of Christ – the Vera Icon (latin true portrait) – testify. Assigned to the Passion, it is directly linked to the passion of Christ and St. Veronica as a contemporary witness of Christ.But how is it that there is a reproduction of the cloth in Rottenburg?

Christian sources arrange Veronika usually the radius at Jesus and recognize them as a complaining woman on the road to Calvary. Here, as told the apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus, did Christ handed a towel so he dry his face with sweat and blood. When he returned it, had it appeared his face. While still alive, Veronica is said to have acted as a sudarium miracle before it probably around 700 the relics of St. Peter was accompanied in Rome.

Over the centuries, many legends have grown up around the figure of Christ, which is also known as acheiropoieta (Greek not made ​​by people [-hand]). A special worship of sweat cloth can be traced back to the 12th century in Rome. Like many other relics, it was presented there on special occasions to the public and taken as a motif in the visual arts. Originally presented with Nimbus and open look, it changes from around 1400 to the image of the suffering Christ, mostly with crown of thorns.

A good example from the field of graphics is a steel engraving on starched linen, as it has obtained from recently in Sankt Moritz in Rottenburg. Engraved Between 1849 and 1870 by Pasquale Proia in Rome, it shows the suffering Christ with downcast eyes. Significantly bleeding wounds on his forehead and cheeks can be seen. Tears flow from his eyes. The title names the representation explicitly as a true representation of the Holy cloth as it is located in St. Peter in the Vatican. A special feature are the papal seal on the bottom of the graph and the corresponding stamp. They have the image of the indirect contact relic with special value, which had been issued to the original spot.

Presumably, the graphic was Pius IX. authenticated, under whose pontificate is 1849 a special event – a miracle – is said to have happened: At a presentation of the Holy Cloth in St. Peter the face of Christ had begun to glow softly. As a result, numerous reproductions of the portrait were made and issued as sealed Veronica wipes the whole of Europe. It is further possible that the steel engraving by Charles Joseph Hefele found to Rottenburg, who was appointed in 1869 and appointed local bishop in 1868 in preparation for the first Vatican Council in Rome. Historical facts about the preservation of the image are not used, and the papal seal of the graph can not be positively identified due to age. Nevertheless, the printed portrait continues to fascinate. The original should be kept since the 17th century in the transept of St. Peter on the marble statue of St. Veronica. Although the Vera Icon has not been presented to the public for many years, but imparts the Rottenburger graphic idea of cloth, as it may have appeared in 1849 in Rome.

Christine Bozler

INFO – Stations of the Cross
The history of the Shroud of St. Veronica can see today in the sixth Station of believers.