Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Veronica Giuliani

Born: 1660 at Mercatello, Urbio, Italy as Ursula Giuliani
Died : July 9 1727 at Citt' di Castello, Italy

Apparently Saint Veronica got her start early in life. Born to wealthy parents, her first words were said to be "Do justice, God sees you." Growing up some would even report she was a bit stuck up, especially about her families status and towards those who didn't share her religious fervor.

As a teen, when her father presented potential suitors for her to marry she became ill at the thought of not devoting her life to god. With her fathers blessing she joined the Poor Claires at the age of 17.

In 1697 Saint Veronica began showing signs of the Stigmata, starting with the wounds of the crown of thorns on her head and by Good Friday the other 5 wounds on her body and hands. The local bishop eventually decided to study these phenomena himself. In the presence of several nuns, he examined the stigmata and satisfied himself that they were genuine wounds. As a sort of test to ensure no fraud was occuring, he forbade the Veronica to receive Communion, to associate with the other nuns, and to have any communications with the outside world. She was to be under constant observation for a period by a lay sister. Her wounds were to be dressed and bandaged, and her hands clothed in gloves sealed with the bishop's seal. After a long term, the bishop was satisfied that her wounds were not a deception and stopped the experament. There were also reports of her levetation, and that the bleeding from the stigmata would stop with a word of command.
After her death the figure of the cross was found impressed upon her incorrupt heart.

It is interesting to note that that during her 34 years as mistress of novices, she actively discouraged the apprentice nuns from fancying that they were mystics. She knew well that there could be dangerous consequences. When elected abbess eleven years before her death, she showed herself also as a practical administrator. She started an extensive building program, including enlarging the convent quarters and piping in a better water system. She is also the author of a 10 volume diary of her experiences and visions entitled Diary of the Passion.

She succumbed to apoplexy in July of 1727. She was canonized in 1839.

Her bones, encased in wax (photo above) are on display. There was a death mask made so the features are accurate. Her incorrupt heart is kept in a reliquiary in Monastero Santa Veronica Giuliani.

No comments: