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Mystic's joyful suffering shows total response to God's love, Pope tells audience

December 15, 2010

At his weekly public audience on December 15, Pope Benedict XVI spoke about St. Veronica Giuliani (1660- 1727), saying that the profound mystical experiences of the Italian Poor Clare nun made her a “true image” of the crucified Christ.

St. Veronica “saw all things in light of Christ’s love, manifested in his Passion,” the Pope said. Her identification with the Lord’s suffering was such that she experienced the stigmata, among other signs. She accepted suffering joyfully, the Pope observed, seeing it as a sign of God’s favor because it enabled her to identify with Christ’s suffering, the greatest possible display of human love. At the end of her life, as she endured the last stages of a painful illness, she said simply: “I have found Love.”

Pope Benedict offered the passionate approach of St. Veronica as a reminder to all the faithful that God freely offers His love to all who sincerely seek it. “She invites us,” the Pope said, “to participate in the tormented love of the crucified Jesus, for the salvation of all sinners.”

The papal audience, originally scheduled for St. Peter’s Square, was moved indoors, to the Paul VI auditorium, because of unusually cold weather in Rome.


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