I know Simon of Cyrene is spoken of in the bible, but Veronica is strangely never mentioned. I know by tradition she wiped Christ’s face with a cloth, however where does this tradition come from?
Veronica’s name comes from the combination of the latin “vera” (true) and the greek “icon” (image) and grows out of popular stories of the veneration of various relics in the early years of the faith. There is no substantial evidence that a woman actually obtained a “true image” of Christ’s face during his journey to Calvary, and if there was her actual name probably wasn’t “Veronica.”
See St. Veronica
Some information here
The name “Veronica” itself is a Latinisation of Berenice (Greek: Βερενίκη, Berenikē, with a secondary form Beronike), a Macedonian name, meaning “bearer of victory”. The woman who offered her veil to Jesus was known by this name in the Byzantine East, but in the Latin West the name took a life of its own.
And more here.
I names my daughter for St. Veronica. Every time I visit a different parish, I take a picture of the 6th Station for her. It’s beautiful to see the many different representations of this act of sublime kindness to Our Lord.
Like many small “t” traditions, this is a pious legend.
If you google “the veronica” or “veronica’s veil” or “mandylion” there is a great deal of information on the possible background of it.
If the tradition of St Veronica is unsubstantiated then why do we refer to her as “Saint” and why do we meditate this event in the stations of the cross?
It’s a fact that there were many women following Christ in the crowds that day.
Whether or not her veil or cloth is still in existence has little to do with it.
She’s a beautiful example of compassion. For that reason, she was proclaimed a Saint by the early church.
If she’s good enough for the Franciscans as well, she’s good enough for me.
There is an actual relic that is the basis for the myth. Clearly such an incredible image had some kind of source. Saints have been honored in the Church since the first century, but there wasn’t a formal canonization process until the 15th century or so. Saints that held popular recognition to a significant degree were “grandfathered” in so to speak, and that is probably what happened with St. Veronica.