SAINTS

JULY 9: ST. VERONICA GIULIANI

(1660–1727)
At birth in Mercatello, Italy, our saint of the day in was given the name Ursula. By her third or fourth year she already experienced a vision of the child Jesus while picking flowers in the garden. He simply said, “I am the true flower,” and then vanished.
Growing up, Ursula would listen with her sisters to her mother tell the stories of the saints, but, unfortunately, she died when Ursula was 7 years old. Before her death her mother consecrated Ursula and her four siblings to each of the Five Holy Wounds of Jesus, a prophetic act, as later in life Ursula (now Veronica) would receive the stigmata.
Ursula would feel a profound calling to a religious life when she received her First Holy Communion. In her diary she wrote, “Going for the first time to communion, it seemed to me that at that act I felt outside of myself. I seem to remember that when I took the Holy Host, I felt such a great heat that flared up inside of me, especially, my heart was burning. … I felt that the Lord had really come to me, and with my whole heart I told him, ‘My God, it is now time to take complete possession of me. I give myself only to You and it is only You I want.’ I seem to remember that He answered, ‘You are Mine and I am all yours.’”
At 17 she joined the Capuchin Convent at Città di Castello. It was the bishop who performed the ceremony who gave Ursula the name Sister Veronica (another link to Christ’s passion) and made a prediction to the other nuns: “Keep this girl as a precious treasure because she will become a great saint.”
From the time she was a novice, Veronica dedicated herself to penances on behalf of the unconverted and lapsed Catholics. In her diaries she spoke of her conversations with Jesus and claimed He would tell her which specific people she should pray for and who, because of her intercession, had become closer to Him.
In another mystic vision, she said that while she was working in the infirmary, the figure of Christ detached Himself from the cross and held her in His embrace saying: “All this that I am now doing to you, I do it for you to know how pleased I am with your prayers.”
For all her goodness, Veronica felt constantly accosted by the devil. She felt physical blows on her body and was allowed to see the suffering in Hell. She begged the Lord to allow her to be a gatekeeper, taking upon herself the torments of the damned so that they might ultimately be saved.
On April 4, 1681, during Holy Week, Veronica was contemplating the suffering of Christ’s Passion. She had a vision of Jesus. She said, “He took the crown from his head and … put this crown on my head and I seemed to have felt the thorns pierce through into the inside of my mouth, ears, all my head, my eyes, my temples and my brain. It was so much suffering; I fell on the ground as if dead. The Lord lifted me up and told me: ‘You will feel these pains as long as you are alive, more or less according to my wish.’ Again, I fell down and the Lord lifted me. I fell for a third time. Oh God! I cannot describe what the Lord communicated to me about His sufferings: I know very well that in a certain way he left an imprint of His Passion in my heart that I have never forgotten.”
On Easter Sunday 1694, Veronica received Holy Communion and had a vision of Jesus, Mary and St. Catherine of Siena. They were so resplendent that the sun itself could not compare. Within the wound on Christ’s side there was a ring meant for Veronica and a spiritual marriage took place with Mary and Catherine as the witnesses.
In 1696, she received the transverberation, a wound to the heart (like that of St. Theresa of Avila). It remained open and bleeding for several days before it closed.
On Good Friday 1697, Veronica received the stigmata.
“In an instant, I saw five shining rays shooting out from His Wounds, coming toward me. I watched as they turned into little flames. Four of them contained the nails, and the fifth one contained the lance, golden and all aflame, and it pierced my heart. The nails pierced my hands and feet.”
Throughout her life Veronica had many visions of Christ, Mary and the saints. Her visions carried her to places where she had never been and in telling her confessor of these voyages, she would recount such detail that the priest said, “When I questioned her about this journey, she replied that the Lord had granted her to make it in a vision and described the sanctuaries with so much accuracy of detail that she could not have done better even after having bodily visited them various times, and even I who have visited them various times could not have done better.”
On June 6, 1727, Veronica had a stroke during Holy Communion and lingered 33 more days. Before entering her eternal rest she said, “Love has let Himself be found.” Veronica was beatified in 1804 by Pope Pius VII and canonized in 1839 by Pope Gregory XVI.
Adapted by A.J. Valentin from St. Veronica Giuliani-Mystic, Stigmatic, Victim Soul, Incorruptable. (n.d.). In Mystics of the Church. Retrieved from https://www.mysticsofthechurch.com/2015/07/st-veronica-giuliani-extraordinary.html