Saint Veronica Giuliani

Every September 17 the Franciscan family celebrates the Feast of the Sacred Stigmata, commemorating the day when St. Francis of Assisi received the wounds of the Passion of Christ.  Such a gift marked the high point of the Little Poor Man’s mystical life, confirming outwardly his total interior conformity to Jesus Crucified.

Many people know that one of St. Francis’ spiritual sons, the 20th century Capuchin priest St. Pio of Pietrelcina  (Padre Pio), was also privileged to bear the Stigmata.  Few know however that one of his spiritual daughters, the 17th century Capuchin Poor Clare St. Veronica Giuliani, was likewise granted to bear the wounds of Christ in her body.

Ursula Giuliani was born on December 27, 1660, in Mercatello, Italy, the youngest of five children.  When she was four, her mother died, but not before entrusting each of her children to one of the wounds of Jesus Crucified.  Ursula was given to the wound in His Heart.  It was a prophetic entrustment, for as the lively little girl grew, so did her desire to be totally immersed in the fire of Crucified Love.

At the age of seventeen, Ursula entered the Poor Clare monastery in Citta di Castello, taking the name of Veronica.   With characteristic ardor, she dedicated all her energies to surrendering herself to Crucified Love.  God did not delay long in rewarding her fervor, granting her abundant mystical graces and permitting numerous trials to purify and strengthen her.

 Thanks to her confessor, who obliged Veronica to keep a journal of her mystical experiences, we have a detailed record of her spiritual ascent which culminated in the reception of the Stigmata on Good Friday 1697.  Thanks also to that journal and to the testimony of her Sisters, we also have some idea of the searing sufferings Veronica underwent – physical illness, spiritual aridity, temptation, calumny, ecclesiastical censure.


But there was also a very human side to this extraordinary mystic.  Like St. Francis, Veronica had a great love for all creation.  She likewise had a very tender and solicitous love for her Sisters.  Veronica had a very practical side, too, and even engineered a plan which brought running water into her monastery.


St. Veronica Giuliani died, rich in virtue and in merit, on July 9, 1727, and was canonized by Pope Gregory XVI in 1839.   She continues to bear witness to the power of Crucified Love to transform the soul to the point where one can truly say with St. Paul: It is no longer I who live, Christ is living in me!  

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(1660 - 1727)
Almighty God,
you made St. Veronica glorious
by the wounds of the Passion of Your Son.
Through her example and prayers
may we become like Christ,
humbly embracing the Cross
so that we may rejoice
in the revelation

of His glory.
Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Crucified Love