On the interior walls of every Catholic Churches today is depicted 14 events of the suffering Christ on his Way to Calvary. We are indebted to the Age of Faith for these.

The historical events culminating in Christ's Death took place in Jerusalem but the destruction of the Temple and burning of Jerusalem in 70 AD by the Romans means that the streets Christ trod to Calvary, which was outside the city, could no longer be located with certainty. "In 326 Queen Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine the Great, visited Jerusalem and determined the location of events associated with the last days of Jesus. She caused churches to be built to be built on some of these locations, most notably the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in AD 335". (Website: Jerusalem the Endless Crusade/Min Events of the History of Jerusalem)

"The Stations of the Cross, also called The Way of the Cross, is a devotion to the passion of Christ consisting of prayers and meditations on fourteen occurrences that were experienced by Christ on His way to the crucifixion. During the time of the crusades (1095-1270), it became popular for pilgrims in the Holy Land to walk in the footsteps of Jesus to Calvary. With the capture of the Holy Land by the Muslems pilgrimages became too dangerous. As a consequence, the Stations of the Cross became a popular substitute pilgrimage throughout Europe." (Website: History of the Stations of the Cross) This devotion was promoted in the 13th Century by the Franciscans who were given the care of the Holy Places in Jerusalem.

Events of the sufferings of Christ are evident in Scripture but some are not found therein. One of these traditions tells that Veronica, moved by compassion, gave Christ a cloth with which to wipe his face and on it appeared the image of his suffering face. As early as the 300's there existed a document which speaks of the Veil of Veronica and this Veil was displayed in during the Holy Year 1300. Dante wrote this in the Paradiso"

'Like one who, haply, from Croatia came
To see the veil of St. Veronica
And held, unsated, by its ancient fame

Looks all he may, musing the while with awae:
'Lord Jesus, Christ, true God, this likeness of
Your face is, then, the form your feature bore."
(Dante Paradiso, Canto XXXI, 103-106)

"Numerous descriptions note the veil's fine material — so fine that a breeze can pass through — with an image stamped on both its sides of a still living person with eyes wide open, a face full of suffering and with evident blood spots." Jesus' face on the Shroud of Turin, on the other hand, appears with eyes closed.

Sanctuary of the Sacred Face /Veronica's Veil in Manoppello, Abruzzi, Italy.

So, where is this veil today?

It would appear that Veronica's Veil, which had been in a chapel at the Vatican, was stolen when it was demolished in 1608. A 13 year study by the Jesuit scholar, Father Heinrich Pfeiffer, concluded that Veronica's Veil is now at the Capuchin Friery, the Sanctuary of the Sacred Face, in Manoppello which is a small town in Abruzzi.

There are some who believe that this event of Christ's life is a construction of Christian piety of the Middle Ages and nothing more. To me this is Christian tradition that in view of the above seems to be grounded on historical fact rather just legend. To limit the events in Christ's life to the NT writing is absurd because John states, "There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written". (Jn 21:25)

7. Holy Images in the Age of Faith