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I am allowed to hold my INFINITE GOD inside my worthless hands…

Saint Veronica Giuliani

Saint Veronica Giuliani was a mystic and stigmatist who was born in Italy in 1660. She is a very interesting Saint, whose story I have only recently stumbled upon and read in some depth.


When she was only four years old, Saint Veronica’s mother died. But before she died, she assigned each of her young children one of Christ’s wounds so that they could shelter within it during their earthly lives. Saint Veronica was assigned the wound in Christ’s side – being the youngest child in the family.


Saint Therese of Lisieux, spoke of the blessings of having parents who merited Heaven. And Saint Veronica demonstrated those blessings through her life… For despite some initial objections from her father, Saint Veronica entered into the Convent of the Capuchin nuns in Umbria when she turned 17 years old. Her saintly humility caused Saint Veronica to consider herself the lowest member of the community.


At the age of 34, Saint Veronica received the marks of Christ’s crown of thorns, and at the age of 37, she received His five wounds in her body. The reaction of Rome was to doubt and test the saint and so, she was deposed from her offices within her community, isolated from the sisters and imprisoned in her cell. Eventually she was also denied the Blessed Sacrament and was only allowed to attend Holy Mass while standing outside the doorway of the church.


Eventually, the Bishops who were observing the saint concluded that she bore every trial with serenity, which convinced them that her afflictions were surely the product of Divine Intervention and not diabolical. Further, when her wounds were opened, they emitted a fragrance that her priest described as “delicious” and which infiltrated the entire convent.


Following her death at 67 years of age, her body remained incorrupt for decades until it was eventually destroyed in a flood. Though her body decayed, her heart – where she bore the side-wound of Christ – remains intact and is a precious relic preserved today…


I have been thinking about the amazing life of this ancient saint over the last weeks of lockdown.

After all, she endured great suffering at the hands of the bureaucracy of the Church as allowed by God, and she bore those trials with a serenity that assured others that she was in fact being sanctified by her sufferings.

During lockdowns – around the world – the churches are closed. Most people are deprived of the spiritual nourishment of the Most Holy Blessed Sacrament. Most people cannot receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I cannot.


There is such an abundance of mercy in those sacraments, and we are denied it around the world during lockdowns. But now, upon reflection, it occurs to me that we are denied that mercy to better value it later… For this too is part of God’s plan and will be worked for the infinite Glory of God…


And yet, standing as I am outside the Church, it occurs to me that the reception of the Blessed Sacraments is not my RIGHT – but a GIFT freely ALLOWED to me.


Though I earnestly desire them, I am as dust and have no right to ask for them…


I miss my Beloved. I know He is with me always, but I miss Him in the special way that He allows when He allows me to hold my INFINITE GOD inside my worthless hands, when I receive Holy Communion.

My soul yearns for Him and I cannot get to Him and sometimes – if I dwell on it – I become frantic, like a lost child searching for my mother in a busy city surrounded by strangers and danger and the risk of being lost forever.

But then, I think of Saint Veronica again… She was denied the Blessed Sacrament. She was locked outside the church. She was doubted, ridiculed, isolated and misunderstood. And what did she do?


She stood outside the church door when it was permitted her, and she waited for her God to come and get her.


She did not try to push her way inside. She TRUSTED the Good Shepherd and she stood outside and waited for Him to come when He was ready…


They say that when you pray the rosary, you should invite one of the Saints to join you in praying it from Heaven, as their sanctity will elevate the prayer and intentions that you seek.


Today I ask Saint Veronica to join me. For she stood – locked outside the doors of the church – mocked and ridiculed, and said nothing.


What holiness there is in that!


For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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