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St. Veronica of Milan


Name: St. Veronica of Milan
Date: 13 January

Saint Veronica’s parents were peasants of a village near Milan. From her childhood she toiledhard in the house and the field, and accomplished cheerfully every menial task. Gradually thedesire for perfection grew within her; she became deaf to the jokes and songs of her companions,and sometimes, when reaping and hoeing, would hide her face and weep. Untaught, she began tobe anxious about her lack of instruction, and rose secretly at night to try to learn to read. OurLady told her that other things were necessary, but not this: “My daughter, do not be anxious, itwill be sufficient for you to know the three letters that I bring you from heaven. The first is purityof heart, which makes us love God above all things; you must have only one love, that of My Son.The second is not to murmur against the faults of your neighbor, but to support them withpatience and pray for the one in question. The third is to meditate every day on the Passion ofJesus Christ, who accepts you for His spouse.”

After three years’ patient waiting she was received as a lay-sister in the convent of Saint Marthaat Milan. The community was extremely poor, and Veronica’s duty was to beg throughout thecity for their daily food. Three years after receiving the religious habit she was afflicted withconstant bodily pains, yet never would consent to be relieved of any of her labors, or to omit oneof her prayers. By exact obedience she became a living copy of her rule, and obeyed with a smilethe slightest wish of her Superior. She sought until the last the hardest and most humbleoccupations, and in their performance enjoyed some of the highest favors ever granted to Saints.

By the first letter taught her by Our Lady, Saint Veronica learned to begin her daily duties for nohuman motive, but for God alone; by the second, to carry out what she had thus begun byattending to her own affairs, never judging her neighbor, but praying for those who manifestlylacked virtue; by the third she was enabled to forget her own pains and sorrows in those of herLord, and to weep hourly, but silently, over the memory of the wrongs He suffered. She hadconstant ecstasies, and saw in successive visions the whole life of Jesus, and many othermysteries. Yet, by a special grace, neither her raptures nor her tears ever interrupted her labors,which ended only with death. She died in 1497, on the day she had foretold, after a six months’illness, in the thirtieth year of her religious profession.


Source: Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints


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