Today, 19 April 2012, is the memorial of Blessed Veronica of Strzelno, (or Weronika) a nun of the Premonstratensian Order who lived in the 15th century. Largely she seems to have been forgotten, even by her own Order, but she lived her life for Jesus and she lived it well.
After exhaustive searches I was able to find very little about Blessed Veronica. What I did find didn’t have any surname information, (which always greatly helps) and there no longer seems to be a Premontratensian/Norbertine convent of nuns at Wroclaw any more (if there were, more records would be available – I couldn’t even find the name that the convent used to go under!). It is possible that lots of information was lost during WW1, WW2 and other conflicts that ravaged Poland over the last 5 and a half centuries.
Strzelno is a township in Poland near Wroclaw (formerly called Breslau). Its a place a little east of the centre of Poland. Somewhere in the early 1400s Blessed Veronica was born and she would have worshipped in the convent church dedicated to the Holy Trinity. On the pillars of that church are carved images of vices and virtues, which would have made quite an impact upon Veronica’s formative years. Within that church is also a miraculous crucifix which dates from at least 1461. Since Veronica died around 1466, it may or may not have had anything to do with her, but I’d like to think it did.
Veronica felt the call from God to religious life, and followed it. Much of her life was spent in the convent at Breslau. With a name like Veronica, whether it was her baptismal name or name in religion, she would have been inspired by the Veronica who wiped the face of Jesus during His Passion, and would have had a particular devotion to the Passion of Jesus. At the convent Veronica grew particularly in humility, which is a spiritual fruit that grows faster the more a person meditates upon the Passion of Jesus and the more they grow in penitential practices.
The good Lord then gave her a charismatic gift of prophecy, which requires very significant amounts of courage, humility and intercessory prayer for the gift to be used for the greatest good of souls. Through her, the Lord announced to King Kasimir IV of Poland that he would win a very important battle at Breslau.
When Veronica died around 1466-1469, she was buried at Bresnau. At her tomb many souls received miracles and answers to prayer.
Even though she doesn’t seem to be remembered greatly now, Blessed Veronica’s life was successfully lived in spousal love for Jesus. Perhaps in her humility she begged the Lord to be forgotten after her death, and He caused the graces to come from that extraordinary crucifix in her childhood church instead. He never forgets His holy ones and conspires to make sure that we don’t forget them either. May He be praised!
Blessd Veronica of Strzelno, pray for us.