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Veronica’s Veil

April 1, 2015 by  
Filed under Donna Sue Berry, Holy Week, Lent, Poetry

Veronica's Veil

Veronica could not compete with the roaring, raucous mob,
Though no one heard her plea to move, she pushed with one last sob.
Compassion and persistence had begged her try again,
And just that quick she found herself before the Man condemned.

It's then He fell beneath the cross that forced Him to the ground,
Which ripped His skin and tore His face; head pierced by thorny crown.
Blood mixing with the dirt and stones, they spit upon Him too,
This cursed Man whom they reviled, as winds of hatred blew.

But quickly moving to His side she felt a sudden chill
The world around her disappeared and time itself stood still.
She slid her veil from off her head, and with it cupped His face,
A touching act of mercy in response to heaven's grace.

Then as she pulled the veil away, a tear ran down her cheek,
His look of love made her cry out and made her knees grow weak.
His sacred eyes, His Holy Face, His body racked with pain,
A memory she'd not forget long after He was slain.

A soldier then wrenched her away into the screaming crowd.
She pushed and shoved her way through them, heart pounding with head bowed.
At last she found a quiet street, and knelt in shear relief.
The bloody veil clutched to her chest; she cried from fear and grief.

Then as she held the veil she saw the imprint of His Face,
Majestic in Its blood and wounds; the source of every grace.
The Image burned upon her soul, she found she could not speak,
But bowed in adoration as she kissed her Savior's cheek.

Donna Sue Berry
January 18th, 2015

Veronica, O Veronica,
Such a pious deed you've done!
Upon the road to Calvary, a crown you've surely won.

Art: Veronica with the Veil, Mattia Preti, circa 1655-1660, PD, Wikimedia Commons.

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About Donna Sue Berry

Donna Sue Berry is a passionate writer and poet, wife, mother of two, and grandmother of nine, from the American Heartland of central Oklahoma. She and her husband Joel share their time between Oklahoma and Montana. Her early writing began with romantic poetry during junior high school years; but, not until returning to school at age 48 did her poetry deepen to truly express her great love for her Catholic faith. Proud of her rich Oklahoma heritage and ancestors who made the 1889 Oklahoma Land Run, her current book project is "Catholic Poems from the Heart of a Red Dirt Oklahoma Girl." Her website is

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  • Paul Maceod

    Donna, thank you for the beautiful poem. Did you know the actual cloth known as the Veil of Veronica still exists and has been venerated for some 400 years at Manoppello in Italy? And for centuries before that in St Peter’s in Rome? Anna Catherina Emmerich names the woman who wiped Our Lord’s face as Seraphia, wife of one Sirach, a Temple official. She became known as Veronica, meaning “true image”, but the cloth attributed to “Veronica” is actually made of extraordinarily fine “byssos”, or sea silk, woven from the fibres produced from mussels, and is too fine to wipe anyone’s face with. It was actually laid on Our Lord’s face in the tomb and bears an image of His Face with His eyes open, at the moment of the Resurrection. I would invite you to Google “Volto Santo” or “Manoppello” or “Paul Badde”, a German author who has written two books on the subject, one of which prompted Pope Benedict XVI to visit Manoppello in 2006 to see the Veil for himself.

    Paul MacLeod, Geelong, Australia.

  • Imee

    Beautifully written! Thank you for sharing.

    • You are very welcome. Have a Blessed end to Lent, and a very Blessed Easter!

  • Jeanette

    So beautiful…it draws you right into the scene. God bless you!

    • Jeanette

      I also enjoyed the painting…the best I have seen on Veronica and the veil.

    • Jeanette, thank you so much. I still have tried to imagine the sounds, the smells, the crowds…shivers. Have a very Blessed end to Lent, and Easter!

      • Jeanette

        Donna, Have a Holy Triduum!

  • Hammer Islam

    This story makes my skin shiver with joy. Long live the King of Kings!

    • Thank you for you comment. I felt the same when writing it. Thinking of the scene….Have a very blessed Triduum .

  • Maris


  • Linda Hamel Smith

    Makes you feel like you were there!

  • Paul Star

    Doesn’t He still imprint on our soul. Made in the image and likeness of God.

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