samedi 13 juillet 2013

Sainte VÉRONIQUE (BÉRÉNICE), disciple


Sainte Véronique

Femme ayant essuyé le visage du Christ montant au Golgotha (1er s.)

ou Bérénice. 

La dévotion du "Chemin de la Croix" évoque le souvenir de cette femme qui aurait bravé la foule hostile pour essuyer le visage du Christ pendant sa Passion, recueillant ainsi sur son linge la Sainte Face. Plusieurs légendes sont à l'origine de ce récit:

- Le nom de Véronique qui en grec, vera icona, veut dire : l'icône authentique.

- Le linge que, dit-on, le Christ aurait envoyé au roi d'Edesse, Abgar, avec son image(*). A quoi la piété occidentale ajoute un élément de la quête du Graal, ou même en faisant de Véronique, l'épouse de Zachée, avec qui elle serait venue jusqu'à Soulac et Amadour

Laissons notre piété se tourner seulement vers ces femmes qui pleuraient durant la Passion du Seigneur et à qui Jésus a dit qu'elles feraient mieux de pleurer sur elles et Jérusalem.

(*) Un internaute nous signale: "Le linge de Véronique ne devrait pas être confondu avec le Mandylion, linge que le Christ aurait envoyé au roi Abgar d'Edesse: le premier représente le Christ de la Passion, couronné d'épines; le second est l'image non faite de main d'homme qui a probablement inspiré les premières icônes du Christ, comme la Sainte Face (XIIe s.) conservée à la cathédrale de Laon. Vous pouvez consulter : P. Sendler Egon. Les mystères du Christ, les icônes de la liturgie. Desclée de Brouwer, 2001, p. 25-26. Ouspensky Leonide, La théologie de l'icône dans l'Église orthodoxe, Cerf, 1980, p. 29."



Les spécialistes des Armées en matière photographique et cinématographique trouvent évidemment en sainte Véronique une protectrice toute indiquée. (Diocèse aux Armées françaises)




Avant le XVIIIe siècle, la Légende (qui veut dire : « ce qui doit être lu ») de sainte Véronique était acceptée de l’Église de France, et ce n’est que devant le souffle de l’incrédulité janséniste ou gallicane qu’elle a pâli un instant. Sans parler du sabotage des rationalistes « dénicheurs de Saints ».

Nous avons analysé et le plus souvent reproduit le chapitre 2 du remarquable ouvrage de M. Cirot de la Ville, intitulé : Origines chrétiennes de Bordeaux. Dans ce chapitre, consacré à l’apostolat de sainte Véronique dans le Médoc, le savant professeur de Théologie de Bordeaux nous semble avoir établi d’une manière invincible la thèse de l’existence et de la mission de sainte Véronique, morte en l’an 70.

VRAIE ÉTYMOLOGIE DU NOM DE VÉRONIQUE

Sainte Véronique, aussi appelée Veronica, Vérénice et Bérénice. Son premier nom fut Seraphia : c’est pour rappeler son héroïque conduite sur la voie du Calvaire que la postérité reconnaissante l’a appelée Bérénice ou Véronique, c’est-à-dire : « Je remporte la victoire ».

Quant au nom de Véronique lui-même, livres et maîtres consultés, je dois opposer un démenti formel à l’étymologie, dont on accuse les prétendues « ténèbres du Moyen-Âge » et qui est sortie beaucoup plus tard de l’irréflexion et du besoin de combattre une Légende qui souriait à la piété.

En s’évertuant à former Véronique de vera latin, et de (ikône) grec, « vraie image », elle s’est condamnée à un travail ingrat qui révolte toutes les lois de la philologie et qui n’aboutit pas au mot qu’elle demande. Cette composition hybride ne peut pas contenir la vérité (Magasin pittoresque, année 1837, p. 71 ; A. Maury, Essai sur les Légendes).

Elle saute aux yeux, au contraire, dans la genèse suivante : Véronique vient du grec (fero nikène), « je porte la victoire », d’où est né l’adjectif (ferenikos) « qui procure la victoire », « vainqueur », « victorieux ». Modifié par le dialecte macédonien, ce mot est devenu Berenikos, Bereniké, Bérénice, formes diverses sous lesquelles, avec sa double racine, il conserve son même sens.

Des odes de Pindare, qui le donne pour épithète au triomphateur des jeux olympiques ; de l’histoire de Macédoine, d’Égypte et de Judée, où il désigne des princesses et des villes, il a passé dans l’histoire chrétienne, aux vainqueurs de la Foi et aux héroïnes de la sainteté : on le trouve plus de dix fois, dans les plus anciens Martyrologes, donné à des Saintes et à des Martyres de tout pays : il n’a donc pas été inventé au Moyen-Âge.

LE MOT ICÔNE VIENT DE (SAINTE) VÉRONIQUE

Il est donc facile de voir de quel côté se trouve la vérité entre ceux qui prétendent tirer de la Sainte Face le nom de Véronique pour le communiquer à la personne, et ceux qui de la personne la transmettent naturellement à l’image (Alfred Maury, Essai sur les Légendes). Les écrivains les plus anciens et les plus érudits se rangent dans cette seconde catégorie. Ils se donnent la main dans le parcours des siècles, aussi précis en faveur de la personne et de son action qu’en faveur de son nom.




Hans Memling (vers 1433–1494). Sainte Véronique,

 National Gallery of Art - Washington
St. Veronica

In several regions of Christendom there is honored under this name a pious matron of Jerusalem who, during the Passion of Christ, as one of the holy women who accompanied Him to Calvary, offered Him a towel on which he left the imprint of His face. She went to Rome, bringing with her this image of Christ, which was long exposed to public veneration. To her likewise are traced other relics of the Blessed Virgin venerated in several churches of the West. The belief in the existence of authentic images of Christ is connected with the old legend of Abgar of Edessa and the apocryphal writing known as the "Mors Pilati". To distinguish at Rome the oldest and best known of these images it was called vera icon (true image), which ordinary language soon made veronica. It is thus designated in several medieval texts mentioned by the Bollandists (e.g. an old Missal of Augsburg has a Mass "De S. Veronica seu Vultus Domini"), and Matthew of Westminster speaks of the imprint of the image of the Savior which is called Veronica: "Effigies Domenici vultus quae Veronica nuncupatur". By degrees, popular imagination mistook this word for the name of a person and attached thereto several legends which vary according to the country.
  • In Italy Veronica comes to Rome at the summons of the Emperor Tiberius, whom she cures by making him touch the sacred image. She thenceforth remains in the capitol of the empire, living there at the same time as Sts. Peter and Paul, and at her death bequeaths the precious image to Pope Clement and his successors.
  • In France she is given in marriage to Zacheus, the convert of the Gospel, accompanies him to Rome, and then to Quiercy, where her husband becomes a hermit, under the name of Amadour, in the region now called Rocamadour. Meanwhile Veronica joins Martial, whom she assists in his apostolic preaching.
  • In the region of Bordeaux Veronica, shortly after the Ascension of Christ, lands at Soulac at the mouth of the Gironde, bringing relics of the Blessed Virgin; there she preaches, dies, and is buried in the tomb which was long venerated either at Soulac or in the Church of St. Seurin at Bordeaux. Sometimes she has even been confounded with a pious woman who, according to Gregory of Tours, brought to the neighboring town of Bazas some drops of the blood of John the Baptist, at whose beheading she was present.
  • In many places she is identified with the Haemorrhissa who was cured in the Gospel.
These pious traditions cannot be documented, but there is no reason why the belief that such an act of compassion did occur should not find expression in the veneration paid to one called Veronica, even though the name has found no place in the Hieronymian Martyrology or the oldest historical Martyrologies, and St. Charles Borromeo excluded the Office of St. Veronica from the Milan Missal where it had been introduced. The Roman Martyrology also records at Milan St. Veronica de Binasco, the Order of St. Augustine, on 13 January, and St. Veronica Giuliani on 9 July.

Sources

Acta SS. Bolland., Feb. I (Paris, 1863); Maury, Lettres sur l'étymologie du nom de Veronique, apôtre de l'Aquitaine (Toulouse, 1877); Bourrieres, Saint Amadour et Sainte Véronique (Cahors, 1894); Palme, Die deutchen Veronicalegenden des XII Jahrh. (Prague, 1892)

Dégert, Antoine. "St. Veronica." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 15. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 12 Jul. 2015 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15362a.htm>.



St. Veronica

St. Veronica (or Berenice) is the woman of Jerusalem who wiped the face of Christ with a veil while he was on the way to Calvary. According to tradition, the cloth was imprinted with the image of Christ’s face.” Unfortunately, there is no historical evidence or scriptural reference to this event, but the legend of Veronica became one of the most popular in Christian lore and the veil one of the beloved relics in the Church.
According to legend, Veronica bore the relic away from the Holy Land, and used it to cure Emperor Tiberius of some illness. The veil was subsequently seen in Rome in the eighth century, and was translated to St. Peter’s in 1297 by command of Pope Boniface VIII. Nothing is known about Veronica, although the apocryphal Acts of Pilate identify her with the woman mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew who suffered from an issue of blood.

Her name is probably derived from Veronica  a Latinisation of Berenice (Greek: Βερενίκη), a Macedonian name, meaning “bearer of victory”. Folk etymology has attributed its origin to the words for true icon (Latin: vera & Greek: icon). The term was thus a convenient appellation to denote the genuine relic of Veronica’s veil and so differentiate from the other similar relics, such as those kept in Milan.

The relic is still preserved in St. Peter’s, and the memory of Veronica’s act of charity is commemorated in the Stations of the Cross. While she is not included in the Roman Martyrology, she is honored with a feast day. Her symbol is the veil bearing the face of Christ and the Crown of Thorns.

SOURCE : http://www.ucatholic.com/saints/st-veronica/

Veronica (AC)

1st century; feast day formerly on February 4. Veronica's story first appears fairly late in the history of the early Church, though it relates to the very heart of the Gospel--Jesus' way to Golgotha. Veronica is venerated as the woman who wiped Our Lord's face when he fell beneath the Cross on the road to Calvary. On the cloth was left an image of His divine face.


Scholars have been quick to point out that Veronica's name may well derive from the story itself and not be historical. 'Vera' means 'true' and 'icon' means 'image.' Thus she obtained the true image, or vernicle, of Jesus. Legend tells us that Veronica later went to Rome and cured the Emperor Tiberius with the relic. When she died, she left the cloth to Pope Saint Clement. A 'veil of Veronica' is preserved at Saint Peter's in Rome, probably from the 8th century.

French folklore holds that Veronica was the wife of Zacchaeus, the tax collector (Luke 19:1-10), and accompanied him to France, where he is known as Amadour. When he became a hermit, Veronica went on to evangelize southern France. Other accounts make her the same person as Martha, the sister of Lazarus, or a princess of Edessa, or the wife of an unnamed Gallo-Roman officer.

If the story of Veronica is a legend, it is a beautiful, simple, and natural one, and one coming down from the first Good Friday itself. Jesus was passing in the street, bent under His Cross, on the way to His death; His head lowered, full of fever from His torments; His step advancing amid mockery, curiosity, groans of those who lined the way. A woman named Veronica or Bernice advanced, wearing the veil common among her people, a piece of white linen like Noah's cloak.

Perhaps she had seen the Lord before, and maybe even spoken with Him: The Eastern Church, based on the apocryphal Acts of Pilate, identifies Veronica with the woman whom Christ healed of the hemorrhage suffered for 12 years (Matthew 9:20-22). But even if she had not, her story is no more incredible, because she was moved by the simple desire that any human might have had: a wish to soothe this human face where dust and tears and sweat and blood commingled all at once, and which cried out to those who beheld it for relief. Then as the cloth touched Christ's face, everything became sculptured together until the miracle occurred which was within the Lord's power to command. Could he who at the moment of strangulation on the Cross cried aloud, not grant to this daughter the beauty of His face at the moment it was scorned by all but a handful of close friends?

Some reject the legend because there are so many false reproductions of the veil; because of the many legends and traditions woven into the story of Veronica throughout Christendom; because of the far-fetched claims made by preachers and writers in the course of time. None of these criticisms have touched the real point of the story of Veronica: whether there could have been a woman different from the other "daughters of Jerusalem" whom Jesus warned to weep for themselves and their children, and whether it was our Lord's wish to grant this woman the imprint of his face for her good work (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopedia, White).

Saint Veronica is depicted in art holding a cloth with Christ's face imprinted on it. She might also be shown wiping the sweat from His face as He carries the Cross or writing at the dictation of an angel, the sudarium near her (Roeder). She is the patron of linen-drapers and washerwomen (Roeder).