Yesterday the Holy Father dedicated his weekly audience to one of my favourite saints - St Veronica Giuliani, Capuchin Poor Clare and mystic. St Veronica was a remarkable woman, one who would remind you of St Teresa of Avila, who has left us volumes of profound and insightful works. Her Diary is one of the most extraordinary Christian documents which gives us a real glimpse of the mystical life - a life we are all invited to enter.
Like her brother Capuchin, St Pio, she bore the stigmata, and endured years of suspicion and investigation, growing in holiness and earning the deep respect and love of her sisters in the Monastery. When all censures were lifted, as the Church, having completed an exhaustive investigation, recognised that her stigmata and mystical gifts came from God, she was elected Abbess at the first opportunity, an office she served with great wisdom, simplicity, love and practicality - she may have been a mystic, but her head was not in the clouds.
St Veronica offers us so many wonderful insights, but my favourite quotation from her is in fact her last - her dying words. As she looked into eternity, about to leap into the arms of God she said, "Love has let himself be found" - that sums up her whole life, her teaching and her lesson to us.
She was also a great devotee of Our Lady who dictated part of the Diary. In fact, it was Our Lady who told her that her death was near and so said to the saint that now it was time to call a "Halt" to the writings, which Veronica did. At the moment those writings are being examined by the Church with the view to possibly declaring her a Doctor of the Church. Let us pray that she will be, soon. Veronica is one of the Church's great treasures, but at the moment a hidden one. Her elevation as the fourth woman Doctor will be a gift to the Church in these times, one who with the other Doctors, brings a unique teaching which will help us grow in knowledge and love of God. I see in his talk the Holy Father sees her as a great devotee of Scripture, perhaps he is reflecting on a possible declaration, and sees her contribution to the understanding of Sacred Scripture as a possible reason to raise her.
The Holy Father's talk can be found here.