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Saint Veronica of Milan - the Secret to attaining Christian perfection
Saint Veronica of Milan - the Secret to attaining Christian perfection
Saint Veronica of Milan - the Secret to attaining Christian perfection
Saint Veronica of Milan - the Secret to attaining Christian perfection
 
 
 


Assumption of the Veronica of Milan; frescos by Luigi Migliavacca; Church of Binasco, Italy; commons.wikimedia.org
 
Saint Veronica, Virgin, of Milan
From The Lives of the Saints, Vol I, Rev. Alban Butler (1711-1773)

ALL states furnish abundant means for attaining to sanctity, and Christian perfection, and it is only owing to our sloth and tepidity that we neglect to make use of them.

This saint could boast of no worldly advantages either by birth or fortune. Her parents maintained their family by hard labour in a village near Milan, and were both very pious; her father never sold a horse, or any thing else he delt in, without being more careful to acquaint the purchaser with all that was secretly faulty in it, than to recommend its good qualities.

His narrow circumstances prevented his giving his daughter any schooling, so that she never learned to read; but his own, and his devout wife’s example, and fervent though simple instructions, filled her tender heart from the cradle with lively sentiments of virtue. The pious maid from her infancy applied herself to continual prayer, was very attentive to the instructions given in the catechism: and the uninterrupted consideration of the holy mysteries, and the important truths of religion, engrossed her whole soul to themselves.

She was, notwithstanding, of all others, the most diligent and indefatigable in labour; and so obedient to her parents and masters, even in the smallest trifles, so humble and submissive to her equals, that she seemed to have no will of her own. Her food was coarse and very sparing, and her drink the same which the poorer sort of people used in that country—water, except sometimes whey, or a little milk.

At her work she continually conversed in her heart with God; insomuch that in company she seemed deaf to their discourses, mirth, and music. When she was weeding, reaping, or at any other labour in the fields, she strove to work at a distance from her companions, to entertain herself the more freely with her heavenly spouse. The rest admired her love of solitude, and on coming to her, always found her countenance cheerful, yet often bathed in tears, which they sometimes perceived to flow in great abundance; though they did not know the source to be devotion; so carefully did Veronica conceal what passed in her soul between herself and God.

Through a divine call to a religious and conventual state of life, she conceived a great desire to become a nun, in the poor, austere, and edifying convent of St. Martha, of the order of St. Austin in Milan. To qualify herself for this state, being busied the whole day at work, she sat up at night to learn to read and write, which the want of an instructor made a great fatigue to her.

One day being in great anxiety about her learning, the Mother of God, to whom she had always recommended herself, in a comfortable vision bade her banish that anxiety: for it was enough if she knew three letters:

     the first, purity of the affections, by placing her whole heart on God alone, loving no creature but in him and for him;

     the second, never to murmur, or be impatient at the sins, or any behaviour of others, but to bear them with interior peace and patience, and humbly to pray for them;

     the third, to set apart some time every day to meditate on the Passion of Christ.

 
 
 


The Virgin Mary appears to Veronica from Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints by the Benziger Brothers, 1878; commons.wikimedia.org
 
 
After three years’ preparation, she was admitted to the religious habit in St. Martha’s. Her life was entirely uniform, perfect, and fervent in every action, no other than a living copy of her rule, which consisted in the practice of evangelical perfection reduced to certain holy exercises.

Every moment of her life she studied to accomplish it to the least tittle, and was no less exact in obeying the order or direction of any superior’s will. When she could not obtain leave to watch in the church so long as she desired, by readily complying, she deserved to hear from Christ, that obedience was a sacrifice the most dear to him, who, to obey his Father’s will, came down from heaven, becoming obedient even unto death.

She lay three years under a lingering illness, all which time she could never be exempted from any duty of the house, or part of her work, or make use of the least indulgence, though she had leave; her answer always was, "I must work whilst I can, whilst I have time."

It was her delight to help and serve every one. She always sought with admirable humility the last place, and the greatest drudgery. It was her desire to live always on bread and water. Her silence was a sign of her recollection and continual prayer, in which her gift of abundant and almost continual tears was most wonderful. She nourished them by constant meditation on her own miseries, on the love of God, the joys of heaven, and the sacred passion of Christ.

She always spoke of her own sinful life, as she called it, though it was most innocent, with the most feeling sentiments of compunction. She was favoured by God with many extraordinary visits and comforts. By moving exhortations to virtue, she softened and converted several obdurate sinners. She died at the hour which she had foretold, in the year 1497, and the fifty-second of her age.

Her sanctity was confirmed by miracles. Pope Leo X by a bull in 1517, permitted her to be honoured in her monastery in the same manner as if she had been beatified according to the usual form. The bull may be seen in Bollandus. Her name is inserted on this day in the Roman Martyrology, published by Benedict XIV in the year 1749; but on the 28th of this month, in that of the Austin friars, approved by the same pope.

Christian perfection consists very much in the performance of our ordinary actions, and the particular duties of our respective stations. God, as the good father and great master of the family of the world, allots to every one his proper place and office in it; and it is in this variety of states by which it subsists; and in their mutual dependence upon each other, that its good order and beauty consist. It is the most holy and wise appointment of providence and the order of nature, that the different stations in the world be filled.

Kings and subjects, rich and poor, reciprocally depend upon each other; and it is the command of God that every one perform well the part which is assigned him. It is then by the constant attendance on all the duties of his state, that a person is to be sanctified. By this all his ordinary actions will be agreeable sacrifices to God, and his whole life a continued chain of good works. It is not only in great actions, or by fits and starts, but in all that we do, and in every moment, that we are bound to live to God.

The regulation of this point is of essential importance in a virtuous life, that every action may be performed with regularity, exactitude in all its circumstances, and the utmost fervour, and by the most pure motive, referred solely to divine honour, in union with the most holy actions and infinite merits of Christ.

Hence St. Hilary says, "When the just man performs all his actions, with a pure and simple view to the divine honour and glory, as the apostle admonishes us, his whole life becomes an uninterrupted prayer; and as he passes his days and nights in the accomplishment of the divine will, it is true to say, that the whole course of a holy life is a constant meditation on the law of God."

Nevertheless this axiom, that the best devotion is the constant practice of a person’s ordinary duties, is abused by some, to excuse a life of dissipation.

Every one is bound to live to himself in the first place, and to reserve leisure for frequent exercises of devotion; and it is only by a spirit of perfect self-denial, humility, compunction, and prayer, and by an assiduous attention of the soul to God, that our exterior ordinary actions will be animated by the motives of divine faith and charity, and the spirit of true piety nourished in our breast; in this consists the secret of a Christian life in all states.









 


 Assumption of the Veronica of Milan; frescos by Luigi Migliavacca; Church of Binasco, Italy;
commons.wikimedia.org
 
Saint Veronica, Virgin, of Milan
From The Lives of the Saints, Vol I, Rev. Alban Butler (1711-1773)

ALL states furnish abundant means for attaining to sanctity, and Christian perfection, and it is only owing to our sloth and tepidity that we neglect to make use of them.

This saint could boast of no worldly advantages either by birth or fortune. Her parents maintained their family by hard labour in a village near Milan, and were both very pious; her father never sold a horse, or any thing else he delt in, without being more careful to acquaint the purchaser with all that was secretly faulty in it, than to recommend its good qualities.

His narrow circumstances prevented his giving his daughter any schooling, so that she never learned to read; but his own, and his devout wife’s example, and fervent though simple instructions, filled her tender heart from the cradle with lively sentiments of virtue. The pious maid from her infancy applied herself to continual prayer, was very attentive to the instructions given in the catechism: and the uninterrupted consideration of the holy mysteries, and the important truths of religion, engrossed her whole soul to themselves.

She was, notwithstanding, of all others, the most diligent and indefatigable in labour; and so obedient to her parents and masters, even in the smallest trifles, so humble and submissive to her equals, that she seemed to have no will of her own. Her food was coarse and very sparing, and her drink the same which the poorer sort of people used in that country—water, except sometimes whey, or a little milk.

At her work she continually conversed in her heart with God; insomuch that in company she seemed deaf to their discourses, mirth, and music. When she was weeding, reaping, or at any other labour in the fields, she strove to work at a distance from her companions, to entertain herself the more freely with her heavenly spouse. The rest admired her love of solitude, and on coming to her, always found her countenance cheerful, yet often bathed in tears, which they sometimes perceived to flow in great abundance; though they did not know the source to be devotion; so carefully did Veronica conceal what passed in her soul between herself and God.

Through a divine call to a religious and conventual state of life, she conceived a great desire to become a nun, in the poor, austere, and edifying convent of St. Martha, of the order of St. Austin in Milan. To qualify herself for this state, being busied the whole day at work, she sat up at night to learn to read and write, which the want of an instructor made a great fatigue to her.

One day being in great anxiety about her learning, the Mother of God, to whom she had always recommended herself, in a comfortable vision bade her banish that anxiety: for it was enough if she knew three letters:

     the first, purity of the affections, by placing her whole heart on God alone, loving no creature but in him and for him;

     the second, never to murmur, or be impatient at the sins, or any behaviour of others, but to bear them with interior peace and patience, and humbly to pray for them;

     the third, to set apart some time every day to meditate on the Passion of Christ.

 


The Virgin Mary appears to Veronica from Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints by the Benziger Brothers, 1878; commons.wikimedia.org
 
After three years’ preparation, she was admitted to the religious habit in St. Martha’s. Her life was entirely uniform, perfect, and fervent in every action, no other than a living copy of her rule, which consisted in the practice of evangelical perfection reduced to certain holy exercises.

Every moment of her life she studied to accomplish it to the least tittle, and was no less exact in obeying the order or direction of any superior’s will. When she could not obtain leave to watch in the church so long as she desired, by readily complying, she deserved to hear from Christ, that obedience was a sacrifice the most dear to him, who, to obey his Father’s will, came down from heaven, becoming obedient even unto death.

She lay three years under a lingering illness, all which time she could never be exempted from any duty of the house, or part of her work, or make use of the least indulgence, though she had leave; her answer always was, "I must work whilst I can, whilst I have time."

It was her delight to help and serve every one. She always sought with admirable humility the last place, and the greatest drudgery. It was her desire to live always on bread and water. Her silence was a sign of her recollection and continual prayer, in which her gift of abundant and almost continual tears was most wonderful. She nourished them by constant meditation on her own miseries, on the love of God, the joys of heaven, and the sacred passion of Christ.

She always spoke of her own sinful life, as she called it, though it was most innocent, with the most feeling sentiments of compunction. She was favoured by God with many extraordinary visits and comforts. By moving exhortations to virtue, she softened and converted several obdurate sinners. She died at the hour which she had foretold, in the year 1497, and the fifty-second of her age.

Her sanctity was confirmed by miracles. Pope Leo X by a bull in 1517, permitted her to be honoured in her monastery in the same manner as if she had been beatified according to the usual form. The bull may be seen in Bollandus. Her name is inserted on this day in the Roman Martyrology, published by Benedict XIV in the year 1749; but on the 28th of this month, in that of the Austin friars, approved by the same pope.

Christian perfection consists very much in the performance of our ordinary actions, and the particular duties of our respective stations. God, as the good father and great master of the family of the world, allots to every one his proper place and office in it; and it is in this variety of states by which it subsists; and in their mutual dependence upon each other, that its good order and beauty consist. It is the most holy and wise appointment of providence and the order of nature, that the different stations in the world be filled.

Kings and subjects, rich and poor, reciprocally depend upon each other; and it is the command of God that every one perform well the part which is assigned him. It is then by the constant attendance on all the duties of his state, that a person is to be sanctified. By this all his ordinary actions will be agreeable sacrifices to God, and his whole life a continued chain of good works. It is not only in great actions, or by fits and starts, but in all that we do, and in every moment, that we are bound to live to God.

The regulation of this point is of essential importance in a virtuous life, that every action may be performed with regularity, exactitude in all its circumstances, and the utmost fervour, and by the most pure motive, referred solely to divine honour, in union with the most holy actions and infinite merits of Christ.

Hence St. Hilary says, "When the just man performs all his actions, with a pure and simple view to the divine honour and glory, as the apostle admonishes us, his whole life becomes an uninterrupted prayer; and as he passes his days and nights in the accomplishment of the divine will, it is true to say, that the whole course of a holy life is a constant meditation on the law of God."

Nevertheless this axiom, that the best devotion is the constant practice of a person’s ordinary duties, is abused by some, to excuse a life of dissipation.

Every one is bound to live to himself in the first place, and to reserve leisure for frequent exercises of devotion; and it is only by a spirit of perfect self-denial, humility, compunction, and prayer, and by an assiduous attention of the soul to God, that our exterior ordinary actions will be animated by the motives of divine faith and charity, and the spirit of true piety nourished in our breast; in this consists the secret of a Christian life in all states.


 
 
 
January 13 - Saint Veronica of Milan (1445-1497) - the Secret to attaining Christian perfection - Religious in the Augustinian Order and Mystic

 
 

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top
X
OUR FATHER

Our Father, Who Art In Heaven
Hallowed Be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come,
Thy Will be done
On earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
Liberate us from all temptation[*]
And deliver us from all evil. Amen



[*] Liberate us is in keeping with the original Latin text.
       God usually does not "lead us" to temptation
       (unless we are tested),
       but gives us the grace to overcome and/or resist it
X
HAIL MARY

Hail Mary, full of grace
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art though among women,
And blessed is the fruit
Of thy womb, Jesus.
 
Holy Mary, Mary of God
Pray for us sinners
Now, and in the hour
Of our death. Amen


 
X
APOSTLE'S CREED

I believe in God, the Father Almighty Creator of Heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ, His Only Son, our Lord;
Who was conceived by the
[work and grace of the] Holy Ghost,[*]
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into the Dead.[**]
On the third day, He rose again;
He ascended into Heaven,
And sits at the right hand of God,
the Father Almighty.
From thence he shall come to judge
the living and the dead.
 
I believe in the Holy Ghost,[*]
The Holy Catholic Church,
The communion of saints,
The forgiveness of sins.
The resurrection of the body,
And life everlasting. Amen


[*] Holy Ghost: may be substituted with the current Holy Spirit.
[**] the Dead: "inferi", the underworld or the dead in Latin.
X
GLORIA

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Ghost[*],
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and ever shall be, world without end.
Amen

[*] Holy Ghost: may be substituted with the current Holy Spirit.
X
DE PROFUNDIS

Out of the depths I have cried to Thee, O Lord:
Lord, hear my voice.
Let Thine ears be attentive
to the voice of my supplication.

If thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities:
Lord, who shall abide it.
For with Thee there is merciful forgiveness:
and because of Thy law,
I have waited for Thee, O Lord.

My soul hath waited on His word:
my soul hath hoped in the Lord.
From the morning-watch even until night,
let Israel hope in the Lord.

For with the Lord there is mercy:
and with Him plenteous redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel
from all her iniquities.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Ghost[*],
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and ever shall be, world without end.
Amen

[*] Holy Ghost: may be substituted with the current Holy Spirit.
X
DE PROFUNDIS

Out of the depths I have cried to Thee, O Lord:
Lord, hear my voice.
Let Thine ears be attentive to the voice
of my supplication.

If thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities:
Lord, who shall abide it.
For with Thee there is merciful forgiveness:
and because of Thy law,
I have waited for Thee, O Lord.

My soul hath waited on His word:
my soul hath hoped in the Lord.
From the morning-watch even until night,
let Israel hope in the Lord.

For with the Lord there is mercy:
and with Him plenteous redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel
from all his iniquities.

V. Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord.
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
V. From the gate of hell.
R. Deliver their souls, O Lord.
V. May they rest in peace.
R. Amen.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with Thy Spirit.

(50 days indulgence to all who pray the De Profundis with V. and R.
"Requiem aeternam" (Eternal Rest) three times a day.
Pope Leo XIII, February 3, 1888)


Let us pray:
O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all
the faithful, we beseech Thee to grant
to the souls of Thy servants the remission
of their sins, so that by our prayers
they may obtain pardon for which they long.
O Lord, who lives and reigns,
world without end. Amen

May they rest in peace. Amen

CERRAR
SIGUIENTE
PADRE NUESTRO

Padre Nuestro,
que estas en los Cielos
Santificado sea Tu Nombre;
Venga a nosotros tu Reino;
Hágase Tu Voluntad
en la tierra como en el cielo.
Danos hoy nuestro pan de cada día;
Perdona nuestras ofensas,
Como también nosotros
perdonamos a los que nos ofenden,
No nos dejes caer en la tentación,
y líbranos del mal. Amén
 
CERRAR
SIGUIENTE
AVE MARÍA

Dios te salve, María,
llena eres de gracia;
El Señor es Contigo;
Bendita Tú eres
entre todas las mujeres,
Y bendito es el fruto
De tu vientre, Jesús.
 
Santa María,
Madre de Dios,
Ruega por nosotros
pecadores,
Ahora y en la hora
De nuestra muerte.
Amén
 
CERRAR
CREDO

Creo en Dios, Padre Todopoderoso,
Creador del cielo y de la tierra.
Creo en Jesucristo,
Su único Hijo, Nuestro Señor,
Que fue concebido por obra
y gracia del Espíritu Santo,
Nació de la Santa María Virgen;
Padeció bajo el poder de Poncio Pilato,
Fue crucificado, muerto y sepultado,
Descendió a los infiernos,
Al tercer día resucitó de entre los muertos,
Subió a los cielos
Y está sentado a la derecha de Dios,
Padre Todopoderoso.
Desde allí ha de venir a juzgar
a los vivos y a los muertos.

Creo en el Espíritu Santo,
La Santa Iglesia Católica,
La comunión de los santos,
El perdón de los pecados,
La resurrección de la carne
Y la vida eterna. Amén
 
 
CERRAR
DE PROFUNDIS

Desde lo hondo a Ti grito, Señor; Señor,
escucha mi voz;
Estén Tus oidos atentos
a la voz de mi súplica.

Si llevas cuenta de los delitos, Señor,
¿quién podrá resistir?
Pero de ti procede el perdón,
y así infundes respeto.
Mi alma espera en el Señor.

Espera en su palabra;
mi alma aguarda al Señor,
más que el centinela la aurora.
Aguarda Israel al Señor.

Como el centinela la aurora;
porque del Señor viene la misericordia.
la redención copiosa;
y Él redimirá a Israel de todos sus delitos.

Gloria al Padre, al Hijo y al
Espíritu Santo,
como es desde el principio,
es ahora y será por los siglos de los siglos.
Amén

X
GLORIA

Gloria al Padre, al Hijo y al
Espíritu Santo,
como es desde el principio,
es ahora y será por los siglos de los siglos.
Amén

CERRAR
DE PROFUNDIS y QUE DESCANSEN EN PAZ

Desde lo hondo a Ti grito, Señor;
Señor, escucha mi voz;
Estén Tus oidos atentos a
la voz de mi súplica.

Si llevas cuenta de los delitos, Señor,
¿quién podrá resistir?

Pero de ti procede el perdón,
y así infundes respeto.
Mi alma espera en el Señor.

Espera en su palabra;
mi alma aguarda al Señor,
más que el centinela la aurora.
Aguarda Israel al Señor.

Como el centinela la aurora;
porque del Señor viene la misericordia,
la redención copiosa;
y Él redimirá a Israel de todos sus delitos.

V. Dadles, Señor, a todas las almas
el descanso eterno.
R. Y haced lucir sobre ellas
vuestra eterna luz.
V. Que en paz descansen.
R. Amén.