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The Stations of the Cross in Jerusalem - Reflection

The 6th Station:
HERE The Veronica wipes the face of Jesus


The procession started the uphill climb towards Ghareb. The peak of Calvary was already visible toward the west. It stood out against the sky.

In an instant someone from the bystanders broke ranks. It was a woman. She came running to Jesus holding in her hands a piece of wet cloth. She wiped Jesus' face from sweat and blood. She did not bother to look at the soldiers, less still did she care about her safety. She did it instinctively, in a womanly caring fashion. She saw his suffering and thought that this might alleviate some pain.

Jesus appreciated this gesture. He felt the wet cloth on his face as soothing as the best medicine. He could see the woman now as the trickling blood and sweat were removed from his face. He could again open his eyes and see for himself the tender face of the woman.

She was crying and tears were dripping down her peach-coloured cheeks. She had seen for herself the amount of pain the man in front of her was suffering. She knew him well.

She had sat under a tree to hear his words. And standing there in front of him she remembered his words echoing: "Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets. But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort" (Luke 6,21-24).

She wanted to hug him but the soldiers had enough of these soft scenes and pushed her back.

A Prayer

Dear Jesus, this woman was very strong in character and you must surely have admired her courage. Yes, she needed courage to come out from the wayside, to behave like a human being in the midst of the inhuman treatment you were being sujected to. She did not join the crowd. How true it is, Lord, that we need courage to get out of the crowd, to go against the current, to be singled out! How much courage we need to proclaim aloud that we love you, we care for you, we believe in you! Yes Lord, we need courage because many a time we are afraid to be laughed at for our principles, for our faith. Dear Jesus, make me mature enough to be able to stand up for your truth without fear or prejudice!

The Site

View of the front door of the Chapel at the Sixth Station
A succession of flying buttresses makes the third part of the Via Dolorosa one of the most picturesque in Jerusalem. Here the pilgrim, after leaving the Fifth Station finds himself in the Tarig el-Alam going uphill in the direction of Golgotha.
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Inside the Sixth Station Chapel
A Greek Catholic Church preserves the memory of the meeting between Jesus and Veronica. According to tradition, Veronica wiped Christ's face with a silk veil on which His features remained imprinted. The holy relic of this meeting, Veronica's veil, has been kept since the eighth century in Saint Peter's Basilica (Rome).
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The Sixth Station among the souvenirs of the Old City of Jerusalem

The site was bought by the Greek Catholics at the end of last century and it comprises a church and a crypt which has been renovated by A. Barluzzi and artists from "Art Sacrè de Paris"
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© copyright 2001. Reflections, prayers and descriptive text
by John Abela ofm edited by Michael Olteanu
based on research by Albert Storm (SBF - Jerusalem)
Hi-Res pictures prepared by Michael Olteanu
Display pictures prepared by John Abela ofm

Stations:  Main - A - B - C - D/ 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 / Proc.
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Created / Updated Sunday, January 6, 2002 at 14:03:12 by John Abela ofm
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