St Veronica Giuliani -An extraordinary mystic and victim soul

St Veronica Giuliani
St. Veronica Giuliani -Mystic, Stigmatic, Victim Soul, Incorruptable

The webmaster would like to gratefully thank Mrs. Angelica Avcikurt for creating this article from various Italian and English sources. May God reward her for her efforts in translating from the original Italian many of the inspiring and informative passages below.

St. Veronica Giuliani (Feast day July 9) is one of the greatest Italian mystics of the 18th century. She is a saint of the stature of St. Teresa of Avila or St. Francis of Assisi. She was a soul chosen by God from her early childhood to reach the highest mystical graces which she described in her diary. Born on December 27, 1660 at Mercatello, she was given the baptismal name, Ursula. At the age of 17 she entered the cloistered Capuchin Convent at Citta di Castello in Umbria and took the name Veronica. She remained there until her death on July 9, 1727.

Her Diary

St. Veronica left us a spiritual treasure, her Diary, which she wrote under obedience to her confessor, Fr. Gerolamo Bastianelli. She began writing it in April, 1693 and finished writing it thirty four years later in 1727. She wrote a total of twenty-two thousand pages. This was a great penance for her. She did not neglect her other duties and would write late at night in her cell. The devil would often try to scare her to disrupt her writing. He would hide and break her pencils, and sometimes even attacked her physically: “After Matins, when I wanted to make an act of obedience and write for a quarter of an hour, I suddenly got a big punch in the eye and heard a voice saying, ‘damned writings!’”  During the last fifteen years of her life, Veronica was so ill that a painting of Our Lady of Sorrows in her cell would come to life, and the Blessed Virgin Mary herself dictated to her the last chapters of the Diary.
Jesus made two promises to Veronica about this diary: “The Lord himself made me understand I should write everything; because He wanted it thus; and that these writings would be of great benefit to many souls; and that he wanted it to be for the whole of Christianity.” And on another occasion Jesus told her: I inform you that I want to give special graces to whomever will trouble himself with this work. And I want everything, everything revealed. These are My works, My gifts, they are My singular graces, and all shall be for My glory.”
It is interesting to note that both saints and mystics have been entrusted with the publication of this diary. It was not until one hundred and fifty years later that Francois Dausse started to work on its publication, but his work remained unfinished because of his death. After this, St. Annibale Maria di Francia started working on this diary and managed to publish the first volume under the title, A Hidden Treasure, The Diary of St. Veronica Giuliani (1891-92). However, St. Annibale had to stop working on this Diary because the local Bishop asked him to start reviewing the writings of mystic, Luisa Picarreta in order to give them the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur. Later, a Jesuit priest, Pietro Pizzicaria, managed to publish the next 8 volumes under the same title before he died and the last two volumes were published by Professor Umberto Bucchioni in 1927.

The diary of St Veronica Giuliani
The main source that I am using for this article, Il Diario by Edizioni Cantagalli, is a one volume abridgement of Veronica’s Diary by Maria Teresa Carloni, a twentieth century mystic and stigmatic herself. Maria Teresa was asked by her spiritual director to undertake the task of condensing the ten volumes of the Diary of St. Veronica Giuliani into one volume in order to make it more accessible to the public. This makes this volume doubly precious because it has the spirituality of St. Veronica and the commentary by the mystic, Maria Teresa Carloni.
When Maria Teresa Carloni started working on this project, she started to have doubts and fear that she would not be able to give it that “luminous touch,” of the original work, but then she notes that obedience is always rewarded. The Blessed Virgin Mary herself came to encourage her, saying: Why are you seeking help only from men, and when you lack it, you falter? Aren’t I the hope of those who are hopeless, the Advocate, the Mediatrix between man and God? Turn to me with the same simplicity of my little Ursula (St. Veronica Giuliani) and I will help you as I helped her. Put into my hands your act of obedience and you will see that it will not be fruitless. Entrust yourself to me and finding yourself at my feet, I will tell you everything. As I have told her (St. Veronica), I repeat it to you: write, my daughter, I want you to follow Holy Obedience. Your spiritual father asked you to start this work to bring to light again the things that happened in the life of our saint and the special graces that God and I obtained for her, and you, docile to this command and full of hope in having supernatural help, read that which I dictated to her and transcribe everything faithfully. Afterwards, you will see that the work will be complete and that it will not be lacking the master touch, the imprint of genius.”
A final note about her writing style, St. Veronica, out of humility, often starts the sentences with “It seemed to me….” And she also uses the word “longing” frequently. I have kept these expressions while translating to stay true to her expressive mode.
Her Childhood
Ursula enjoyed spiritual favors since she was a little girl. At the age of 3 or 4 she remembers having seen the child Jesus in the garden while she was picking flowers. He told her, “I am the true flower” and then disappeared. This experience left her with a longing for heavenly things.
Her mother, Benedetta Mancini, was a deeply religious woman who used to read the lives of saints and martyrs to Ursula and her four sisters (two other siblings had died). This led Ursula to start doing some rather harsh penances and desire to suffer out of love for Jesus at an early age following the example of St. Rose of Lima. Benedetta died at the age of 39 when Ursula was just seven years old. Ursula was with her mother when she received the Viaticum. Before her mother died, she consecrated each of her five children to each of the Five Holy Wounds of Jesus. Ursula was consecrated to the wound of Jesus’ side. Throughout her diary it is clear that St. Veronica had a great devotion to the Holy Wounds.
Ursula had longed to receive Holy Communion and finally at the age of ten she was able to make her First Holy Communion on February 2, 1670. This is how she described her experience: “Going for the first time to Communion, it seemed to me that at that act I felt outside of myself. I seem to remember that when I took the Holy Host, I felt such a great heat that flared up inside of me, especially, my heart was burning…I felt that the Lord had really come to me, and with my whole heart I told him, “My God, it is now time to take complete possession of me. I give myself only to You and it is only You I want.” I seem to remember that He answered, “You are Mine and I am all yours.” 
When she went home afterwards, she felt different, transformed, and she realized she had a vocation to the consecrated life, “Oh God! What joy! I cannot explain what I felt. I only know that I was left with an ardent longing to become a nun, and that I could not wait for the moment to marry God.”
Life as a Cloistered Capuchin Nun Begins
After some opposition to her vocation by her father and relatives, Ursula finally obtained permission to join the Capuchin Convent at Citta di Castello and entered the cloister at the age of seventeen on October 28, 1677. Upon entering, Bishop Sebastiani, who performed the ceremony, told the nuns, “Keep this girl as a precious treasure because she will become a great saint.”  This Bishop was also the one that chose her religious name, “From now on your name will be Sister Veronica, which means true and unique, which is, you and God alone.”
This is what she experienced on the day of her clothing as a religious:
After a long battle between human nature and the spirit, I suddenly seemed to experience something or other-I don’t know if it was recollection or rapture-which took me out of my own senses. But I was unable to understand what it was. At that very moment I think I had a vision of the Lord, who was leading me; I think he had hold of my hand. I could hear harmonious sounds and angelic singing-in fact I think I was in heaven.
“I remember I could see such a variety of things, but all seemed the delights of paradise. Then I saw a multitude of men and women saints. I think I also saw the Blessed Virgin.
“I remember that the Lord gave me a great welcome. He was saying to everyone: ‘This one is ours now’, and then he turned to me and said: ‘Tell me what you want’. I asked Him for the grace to love Him and he seemed to communicate His love to me then and there. Several times He asked me what I was longing for. Now I can remember asking Him for three favors. One was that I should live up to the state of life I had undertaken; the second, that I should never depart from His holy will; and the third was that He would always keep me on the Cross with Him.  
“He promised to grant me everything. And He said to me: ‘I have chosen you for great things, but you will have to suffer much for love of Me.’        
The incorrupt body of St Veronica Giuliani
Her Vocation:  A mediator between God and sinners 
It seems that from the beginning, Veronica was concerned about the fate of sinners and performed great penances in order to obtain their conversion. About the time she was a novice she wrote: “Most nights I spent crying, but I did not know what I was crying about. It seems that thinking about the offenses committed against God and thinking about His Passion moved me to tears; but I don’t remember well the reason for crying so frequently. I seem to remember that I felt that there was an obstinate sinner that did not want to be converted to God and this pained me so much that I could not rest day or night, and I would tell the Lord, ‘My God, here I am ready for any suffering as long as you convert all those who offend you.’…Sometimes when I was going to rest, I heard like a real voice telling me, ‘It is not time to rest but to suffer.’ I would get up immediately and kneel in front of the crucifix saying, ‘My God, I ask you for souls. Let these Your Wounds be voices for me and say with me: O souls redeemed by the Blood of Christ, come to this source of love. I am calling you and these Holy Wounds speak for me, but all of you come.”
She had visions of souls that were about to fall into sin and this made her suffer and increase her penances. Sometimes as a reward, Jesus would let her know of specific souls that had changed their ways and turned to Him. At other times, Jesus would let her know of a specific sinner that she needed to pray for. Sometimes she felt that Jesus wanted to give her a special grace and she would feel a longing for the conversion of sinners which would incite her to do more penances. Once when this happened, she took the crucifix that she had in her cell and said, “‘Lord, I won’t leave you until I feel that you want to convert a soul. Yes, my God, since my voice is not efficacious, let Your Holy Wounds speak for me.’ Suddenly I felt something new, as if I were outside myself. It seems to me that I understood that praying for sinners was so pleasing to the Lord. I showed off as if I was a mediator between God and sinners, but afterwards I felt it was presumptuous. I went to His feet to ask forgiveness.”
Her longing to be a mediator between God and sinners was not a presumption as she thought, since it was later confirmed by Jesus himself. “I seem to remember that one time this crucifix told me with an audible voice: My spouse, I am pleased with the charity you show towards those who are in my disgrace, that is why I confirm you as a mediator, something for which you have been longing.’
Her prayers and penances were rewarded one day when she was working at the infirmary. She was gazing at the crucifix there and begging Jesus for the conversion of sinners when she experienced this: “He detached His arm from the cross and signaled me to come close to His Holy Side. Then, I don’t know how it happened I found myself hugged by the crucifix and He told me: ‘All this that I am now doing to you, I do it for you to know how pleased I am with your prayers.’” This experience left an imprint of the sorrows and sufferings of the passion in her, that she would often do the Way of the Cross carrying a heavy cross around the garden under all sorts of inclement weather.     
Tormented by the Tempter and Visions of Hell
As expected of any soul that is close to God, St. Veronica was tormented and attacked by the devil, whom she referred to as ‘the tempter’. When she entered the convent, he used to tempt her by making her feel guilty for having left her sister whom she loved dearly. At other times, he attacked her physically, made noises to scare her, appeared to her under the form of a cat, and even impersonated Jesus, Mary, and the Bishop.
Her penances and prayers greatly bothered the evil spirits. “While I was doing penance it seemed that all hell broke loose. I heard noises, screams, hissing as if from a snake. At the end I seemed to hear a confusion of many voices, I could not understand what they were saying. I only remembered that at the end they said, ‘Accursed are you. We will make you pay.’ As they were saying this, the room where I was went up in flames but just for a moment.”      
One day the devil showed her a vision of hell. “It seems that the tempter showed my soul hell being opened, and that in fact he had placed it (her soul) in it, and that only a small push was needed to cast it inside. It seemed then that I heard screams and voices of lamentation from the damned. I only saw infernal monsters, many serpents, many ferocious animals, and an infernal stench and extremely hot flames, which were so big that their height could not be measured. I could only compare it to the distance between heaven and earth. As far as the size of the place, one could not see the beginning or the end. You could hear many blasphemies and curses against God. How sad. What torment this caused my soul.”         
She was shown hell once more: “At that moment I was once again shown hell opened; and it seemed many souls descended there, they were so ugly and black that they struck terror in me. They all dropped down in a rush, one after the other, and once they had entered those chasms there was nothing to be seen but fire and flames.” This vision led Veronica to offer herself as a victim of Divine Justice: “My Lord, I offer myself to stand here as a doorway, so that no one may enter down there and lose You.” Then she stretched out her arms and said, “As long as I stand in this doorway, no one shall enter. O souls, go back! My God, I ask nothing else of You but the salvation of sinners. Send me more pains, more torments, more crosses!
The Blessed Virgin Mary speaking to Veronica about her trips to hell told her, “When you were going around hell, you came across torments and tormentors at every step; but that time when you went by the seat of Lucifer, you were terrified at seeing so many souls were on the seat of Lucifer himself. This is in the center of hell and is seen by all the damned, by all the devils, and this sight causes all of them great suffering. I also let you know that, in the same way that the sight of God in Paradise constitutes Paradise itself; down there in hell, the sight of Lucifer is what constitutes hell.
The Blessed Virgin Mary also told her, “Many do not believe that hell exists, and I tell you yourself, who have been there, have understood nothing of what hell is.”
St Veronica Giuliani with crown of thorns
She receives the Crown of Thorns
The first great mystical gift that Jesus gives this victim soul is His Crown of Thorns. This took place on April 4, 1681. This is her account: “I remember that since the beginning when I became a religious, I always asked the Lord to let me experience some suffering from His Passion. A few years later, dressed in this holy habit, a felt this longing during all of lent. When Holy Week started, I felt I don’t know what during prayer and I understood that I should prepare myself because the Lord wanted to make me happy…On Good Friday, I seemed to have a vision…the Lord showed himself to me all wounded and crowned with thorns…I felt the sorrow of sorrows that the Lord felt and at the same time I felt a deep sorrow for my sins and the offenses that I had committed. I was between two points: His infinite Love and my ungratefulness. And it seems that I was telling Him: ‘My Lord, no more ingratitude or sins. Now I want to start to love you…Lord, come to me and give me that crown so that the pricks of the thorns be voices for me to tell you how much I long to love you.’  While I was saying this, it seems that the Lord came closer to me…and I knew that He wanted to grant me the grace that I was asking Him….I was anxious for this suffering when He took the crown from his head and told me something that I don’t remember. He put this crown on my head and I seemed to have felt the thorns pierce through into the inside of my mouth, ears, all my head, my eyes, my temples, and my brain. It was so much suffering; I fell on the ground as if dead. The Lord lifted me up and told me: ‘You will feel these pains as long as you are alive, more or less according to my wish.’ Again, I fell down and the Lord lifted me. I fell for a third time. Oh God! I cannot describe what the Lord communicated to me about His sufferings: I know very well that in a certain way he left an imprint of His Passion in my heart that I have never forgotten.”       
Her head was so swollen after this event that they took her to a doctor. She endured many painful treatments without revealing the real cause of the swelling. On another occasion, she had a vision of Jesus on a throne with the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Catherine of Siena. Jesus took the crown of thorns from St. Catherine’s head and replaced it with a crown of precious jewels. Then, he put the crown of thorns that he had taken from St. Catherine on Veronica’s head. She felt great pain and understood that this was the pain St. Catherine had felt when receiving the crown of thorns, a grace Jesus was giving to her.
St. Veronica had numerous visions during her lifetime, some celestial and some infernal. In one of her visions, she saw a vast area with a multitude of souls carrying heavy crosses on their backs dressed in different colors, but they were facing earth and could not move forward. Another group of souls dressed in white, which were mostly religious, were floating. Jesus appeared in a luminous light among them but only few of them would look at him. This caused her great suffering and made her exclaim: “I wish I had had as many eyes as there were souls there to supply for the loving gazes to my Greatest Good.” There was like a veil between them and God which did not allow them to enjoy this vision, and she understood that this meant that these souls lacked purity of intention. She continues: “These souls are cold, and with the cold comes sin, and with sin, they offend God, the Great Creator. And then…justice…chastisement. I seemed to see the Lord with three spears in hand, and He made me understood that He wanted to punish Christianity for the offenses and sins committed. Now He made me see every sort of weapon, I seemed to see a great war. Everyone was killing each other. It scared me a lot. I didn’t see anything but dead people, and there was a stench in the air, that seemed to make everything stink. This also made me feel sorry. Suddenly I seemed to see everyone’s health in obvious danger. Almost everyone was cursing God; and I seemed to see them die in dire need. At this point, I seemed to understand that the three spears were war, disease and poverty
On another occasion the Lord made her see some souls that were deformed and monstrous. Their sight terrified her so that she thought she would die. Then she heard a voice that told her: For these there is no longer My mercy. They are and will be forever deprived of Me.” The she said: “Oh Lord, where is your pity? Who are these? Are they dead or alive?” She understood they were alive and she heard the reply, They are those who are dead to grace.”
The Chalice of Bitterness
On August 15, 1694, Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to her holding a chalice. She had seen this chalice before, it was the Chalice of Bitterness, and on this day it was finally presented to her:
The Lord showed himself to me surrounded in splendor and glory, suspended in mid-air and surrounded by many angels. At that point it seems that I also saw the Blessed Virgin Mary surrounded by innumerable other angels and many saints. Only two of them made themselves known to me. One was St. Catherine (of Siena) and the other one was St. Rose. I seemed to hear sounds and singing, but I don’t know how to explain it. I felt that everything was drawing me to a closer union with the Lord. I felt the invitations.
At that point I seemed to be as if flying, transported closer to that vision. It seems that the two saints had me suspended in midair between them and in front of me were the Lord and the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Suddenly, I seemed to see the chalice in the Lord’s hand. It was so full that it was almost overflowing. The color of the liquor inside was a yellowish white. At times, it appeared to be boiling; this signified the great bitterness in it. In the meantime, I saw that the Lord gave the chalice to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and she turned to me and said, ‘Daughter, I give you this gift on behalf of my Son.’
Saying this, both were holding the chalice; and both saints were telling me to get closer and gave me permission to accept it. Having said this, the chalice remained suspended in midair, as if in the middle of a cloud and everything else disappeared. Only the chalice remained. I had such a desire to drink it that I would have taken it, but I was not permitted to touch it.
After this, Veronica suffered very much from temptations from assaults from the devil and felt abandoned by God. On August 20, Jesus appeared to her and told her that she was already drinking from the chalice but that He wanted her to do it with joy. This vision renewed her strength, so she started saying “sitio, sitio” (I thirst). All the while, she kept seeing this mystical chalice before her getting filled. When she suffered something, she would see the chalice spill over. She describes her suffering as all bitterness, like the agony of death.
St. Augustine appeared to her together with Jesus and many angels on the night of August 28th, and told her, “This is a precious gift, because it is given to you by God himself.” In the meantime, the angels were gathering in glasses made of gold, the liquor that overflowed from the chalice. Veronica was made to understand that those glasses contained all the suffering she had offered until now that the angels were taking to the throne of God and how pleasing this suffering was to God.
Saint Veronica Giuliani
Engagement and Mystical Espousal
Before the beginning of Lent in 1694, Veronica had a vision of Jesus and St. Catherine of Siena on a beautiful throne surrounded by a multitude of angels. Jesus told her, “Here is Catherine, my beloved spouse; I assign her to you as a companion so that she may be an intercessor between you and Me.” Then Jesus taking St. Catherine’s hand showed Veronica the beautiful ring on her finger. Veronica understood that she would receive the gift of the espousal during Easter.
On Easter Sunday, when she went to receive Holy Communion, she could hear the choirs of angels singing, “Come, spouse of Christ”. Soon after she went into ecstasy and saw Jesus in all His glory with His Holy Wounds all resplendent. Jesus was seated on a throne made of gold with precious stones and there was another throne next to him made of alabaster and precious stones. This was the throne of the Virgin Mary. Veronica mentions that the materials she saw here were not like anything in this world, that our sun would seem like darkness. Then, St. Catherine appeared. Veronica could not explain how but she felt she was being dressed and adorned with precious stones and white lace. Then, she saw Jesus like this, “He was so beautiful that I cannot describe it…His hands, feet and side, that is, His Wounds, were so resplendent that it seems to me that instead of wounds, they were beautiful precious stones. Only the wound of the side seemed to be open and from it came out rays of sun…it seems that inside this holy wound was the ring that I was to wear…At this time it seems that the Lord raised his right hand as if to bless me and said: ‘Come spouse of Christ.’ The Virgin Mary, together with all who were present said, ‘Accept the crown which God prepared for you from all eternity.’  
Then St. Catherine started undressing her and Jesus asked the Virgin Mary to redress her. The Virgin Mary took St. Catherine’s cloak and put it on Veronica. This cloak was covered with precious stones that seemed to change colors, which symbolized the virtues. Then, Jesus took the ring from His side wound and placed it on the Virgin Mary’s hand. The ring seemed to be made out of gold and covered by enamel which formed the name of Jesus on the precious stone. When Jesus put the ring on her finger, she felt a greater union with Him.
Her Prayers
St. Veronica’s spontaneous prayers often invoked the Wounds of Christ in an original way asking them to be ‘voices’: ‘My God, I ask you for souls. Let these Your Wounds be voices for me and say with me: O souls redeemed by the Blood of Christ, come to this source of love. I am calling you and these Holy Wounds speak for me, but all of you come.”
Other prayers seem very similar to the prayers in the Divine Will by Luisa Picarreta. In these prayers, Veronica tries to encompass all creation in her praise and thus multiply the intention of her prayer: “O stars, o sky, help me. I would like to have as many tongues as there are stars in order to praise God and to invite the whole world to love Him.”  And on another occasion she prayed: “My Lord, I intend to call you as many times as there are plants and leaves in the whole world; and I would like to have as many hearts, as many tongues, as there are grains of sand in the ocean, as there are grains of dirt in the whole world.”
She was also very concerned with the conversion of non-Christians: “Now I would call the Jews, now the Turks, now all the nations of infidels. I would make an act of faith and say: ‘Oh my God, if I could supply for all of them in praising You, in loving You, in doing Your Holy Will. But I cannot do it by myself. Nevertheless, I come to You and offer You, Yourself with all your attributes and infinite perfections in satisfaction of all that we should do in terms of blessing, praise and gratitude towards You, my greatest Good.”
Mystical Wounding of her Heart and her Reception of the Stigmata
Like many other great mystics, Veronica also received the wound in her heart, known as the transverberation. This happened on Christmas Eve, 1696: “I only remember that the child Jesus had like a bow and arrow in his hands, and it seemed that he sent it to my heart. I felt great pain. When I came back to my senses, I saw that my heart had been wounded and it was bleeding. I cannot express in writing or with words what the Lord communicated to me at that moment. I only remember that I experienced an intimate union with Him and He made me understand that this wound was nothing compared to the wound He would inflict on me soon.”  This wound would remain open and bleeding for several days and then it would close. She describes that she felt pain all the time and like a flame inside the wound. The wound would reopen at times and stay open for several days again. She would offer the pain of this wound in union to the sufferings and wounds of Jesus for the conversion of sinners.
The wound Jesus “would inflict on her soon” took place on March 8, 1697 before a crucifix: “Being in front of Him, very close, it seemed that He detached His right arm and with that great nail that He held in his hand, He wounded my heart. I felt great pain, and quickly returned to myself.”
A drawing of the mystical wounds that Jesus imprinted upon the heart of St Veronica Giuliani
She mentions that Jesus assigned her to the school of His Holy Wounds, and told her: You should not start any work at all without entering first in these loving Wounds, in order to learn how to do that work…I had willed to imprint these Wounds truly in your heart so that your heart would be all mine. Now it is no longer yours.
It is interesting to note that as a special grace, Jesus let Veronica see in a vision how He wounded the heart of St. Teresa of Avila: “At some point I saw her as if suspended in midair in ecstasy. In front of her there was a shining angel. He had a gold arrow in his hand and he put it in St. Teresa’s heart. She became like a fiery furnace, consumed by love. In an instant, in the same place close to the Lord, she offered herself completely to God and it seems that the Lord made me understand that when she was wounded by love, in that act, she became completely detached from everything, so much so that she did not want to know anything about the world anymore. Detached from everything and everyone, she remained in God alone and did not have any other thought except God and her soul.”
On Good Friday, April 5, 1697, Veronica received the stigmata. She had a vision of Jesus crucified and the Virgin Mary, as Our Lady of Sorrows. She wrote: “In an instant, I saw five shining rays shooting out from His Wounds, coming towards me. I watched as they turned into little flames. Four of them contained the nails, and the fifth one contained the lance, golden and all aflame, and it pierced my heart. The nails pierced my hands and feet.”
A Summary of Graces
In 1701, 26 years before her death, Veronica wrote in her dairy all the graces God had given to her: “In an instant, I saw all the special graces God had given to my soul. There were really so many that I could not tell their number. I will only tell you what I understood in detail. He made me understand that He had renewed the sorrow in my heart 500 times, and again many times had renewed the wound in it; that He had in that period given me the special grace of sorrow for my sins, adding to it knowledge of myself and of my faults; that He had made me understand every sort of virtue, and how to exercise them; that He had given me so many inspirations and teachings that if I wanted to tell them all, there would be no end to it.”
“He also made me understand that He had renewed His marriage to my soul on 60 occasions. 33 times He made me experience His holy Passion in a special way, and understand the pains which are known only to the souls dearest to Him. 20 times He showed Himself to me all wounded and dripping with blood, and He asked me to carry out His holy will, but I did just the opposite. O God, how confused I was in those days! I can write nothing in words of what I went through when these things were revealed to me one by one.”
“Three times He gave me a delightful embrace by detaching His arm from the cross and holding me there at His side; 5 times He gave me to drink from the liquid that flowed from that side of His; 15 times He washed my heart in His precious Blood, which came from His side like a ray and touched my heart; 12 times He delved into my heart and gave me the grace of purifying it and removing all the filth, the rottenness of my imperfections and the residue of my sins; 9 times He had me touch my lips to Wound in His holy Side; 200 times he gave my soul delightful embraces in a special way, not counting the others He gave constantly; and 100 loving wounds He made in my heart, in a secret manner.”
In the Communion of Saints
We have already seen the special roles that St. Catherine of Siena, St. Rose of Lima and St. Teresa of Avila had in Veronica’s life and mystical graces. Other saints that helped Veronica were St. Joseph, St. Augustine, St. Phillip Neri, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Ignatius Loyola, Saint Bonaventure and St. Florido, protector of Citta di Castello. St. Paul, whom she referred to as “my Saint Paul” held a special place in her heart. Also, on the feasts of St. Francis of Assisi, her ‘holy father’ and St. Clare, her ‘holy mother,’ she always received special graces.
Her Guardian Angel
Veronica’s guardian angel had an important role in her life. He helped her get up when she fell under the weight of the Cross, defended her when she was attacked by the devil, and helped her with the chores. Later on during her life the BVM appointed another guardian angel to her because she was so much attacked by the devil. Her angels accompanied her on her visits to hell. God revealed to Veronica that upon the election of a new Pope, heaven appoints to him an additional ten guardian angels to assist him.
Veronica fights for the salvation of a dying soul
Veronica took great care of Sister Angelica Berioli during her last illness. According to the accounts of the convent, Sister Angelica was not very observant of the rules and had always been Veronica’s adversary. However, Veronica offered many prayers and penances for the salvation her soul and prayed at her bedside day and night saying, “My Lord, Your Most Precious Blood and Your infinite merits can obtain this grace.”
One day, when Sister Angelica was still semiconscious, Veronica told her: “Before I go, I want you to tell me something, and I want you to call on Jesus and not on the devil as you do.” Sister Angelica listened to her and promised she would do it and asked Veronica not to abandon her. After this incident, Sister Angelica lost the use of reason for the most part and only once in a while would be heard saying the name of Jesus.
The devil was not happy that Veronica was taking this soul from him and tried to prevent her many times from praying. “On two occasions the devil gave me many blows and told me I would pay for this. One night while I was watching over this sister, he appeared under the form of a cat, and he wanted to jump unto her bed. I tried to shoo him away, and he came close to me as when he tried to jump on me…More and more I would visibly see the demons here around her bed and they would threaten to make me pay for this.”
On the evening that Sister Angelica died, June 21, 1701, Veronica saw how four demons were tempting the dying sister, telling her there was no hope for her. Veronica was made to understand; however, that the demons had lost. When she realized that Sister Angelica was about to die, Veronica asked permission to her confessor to visit the Blessed Sacrament. On her way to the chapel, the devil appeared to her under the form of a cat and jumped on her. She had to fight the cat off up to the door of the chapel, whereupon he disappeared, saying, “You won, but you will pay for it.” After Veronica prayed before the Blessed Sacrament, she understood that she needed to go back to Sister Angelica who would soon expire, and it did happen that way. Then, the Lord let her know that Sister Angelica had been saved but that she would be in Purgatory for a long time and showed Veronica the place of expiation. Veronica commented, “A very dark and scary place.” Then, Veronica had a vision of this soul who had turned into “a terrifying animal.”
Sister Angelica appeared to Veronica the following night and told her: “This is not diabolical. It is true that I suffer. If you understood my suffering, you would die of pain.”
On another occasion, Veronica saw the place where she was in purgatory: “I saw a place so terrible and full of torment that I thought it was hell. I can’t explain it in writing but it struck me with fear and terror. It seemed to me that I saw all sorts of tortures that tormented many souls at the same time. One soul, among the others, suffered more than the others and I seem to understand that it was this soul (Sister Angelica).”
Veronica understood, however, that this soul could not benefit from the prayers said for her because during her life she had not prayed for the requests of others. The penances and prayers that Veronica was offering for this soul were being applied to other souls in purgatory.
The second time that this soul appeared to Veronica, she told her,  “I can’t and I shouldn’t” Veronica understood that ‘can’t’ referred to ‘what she was suffering’ and ‘shouldn’t referred to ‘why she was suffering’.  But then the soul of Angelica said, “It is up to you to get me out of this great suffering. I will not forget (your help).”
Even though the Lord made Veronica understand that this soul should have remained in purgatory until the Final Judgement, He also was willing to accept Veronica’s sacrifices for this soul. Veronica suffered greatly and even experienced her own personal judgment in atonement for this soul, which she was finally able to release from purgatory.
Veronica and the souls in Purgatory
Sister Angelica was only one of many souls that Veronica got out of purgatory by taking upon herself the expiation they required to enter into Heaven, often telling these souls, “Go on to Heaven, I will remain here in order to atone for your sins.” In expiation, she had even suffered her own final judgement, and to inflame her with a desire for the salvation of souls God had allowed her to see, hell and also purgatory. She often visited purgatory: “I spent tonight as usual in Purgatory, in the midst of fire and ice, sorrows and sufferings, in complete abandonment and without any one’s help. May the Will of God be praised.”
It seems that her confessors abused her charity by making her expiate for many souls. Among the souls she atoned for are the soul of her father, Francesco Giuliani, Pope Clement XI, some of her confessors and many sisters such as sister Angelica.
Mystical trip to Shrines
Around the years1714-1715, since she had such a great devotion to the BVM, her confessor told her to ask the Lord to help her make a trip to the Shrine of the Blessed Virgin’s House in Loreto. Mario Cursoni, one of her confessors, explains, “She was ordered to pray to the Lord, asking Him to grant her the possibility of a pilgrimage in vision, to the Sanctuary of Loreto, stopping at the hermitage of Monte Corona, where at that time, Fr. Crivelli was carrying out his spiritual exercises, to receive a blessing; from there to the church of the Holy Virgin Mary of the Angels, to that of St. Nicholas of Tolentino, and finally to the Sanctuary of Loreto to take Holy Communion.”  Veronica was taken there in vision by an angel and this is what Fr. Cursoni reports: “When I questioned her about this journey, she replied that the Lord had granted her to make it in a vision and described the sanctuaries with so much accuracy of detail that she could not have done better even after having bodily visited them various times, and even I who have visited them various times could not have done better.”
St Veronica Giuliani receiving the Stigmata
The Blessed Virgin Mary in the Life of St. Veronica
The presence of the Virgin Mary becomes central in the life of Veronica in the year 1700, when on April 29 the BVM takes her as her disciple. These were the years that Veronica was to suffer greatly from percussion from within the convent and from the Holy See because of her stigmata. Like Padre Pio, Veronica was in confined for a while to the infirmary, only being allowed to go to Holy Mass accompanied by two other nuns.
During this time of trials and percussion, she received many graces from the BVM. On December 24, 1702 she receives a new name, “Veronica of Jesus and Mary” and on July 1715 when the hearts of Jesus, Mary and Veronica become one, she is called “Veronica of the Divine Will, daughter and devotee of Mary Most Holy.”
Veronica stressed very much the importance of consecrating oneself to the Virgin Mary. On 1715, she experienced the grace of a mystical union with the soul of Mary. She wrote: “It seems to me that at this point the Blessed Virgin Mary had transformed herself into me; but I have no way of explaining or recounting this, because my soul has become one with Mary.” This happened one year after she received the grace of the 'three graces': union, transformation, and mystical espousal, during each Holy Communion.
When the Holy office lifted the ban that prevented her from becoming abbess, she was elected Mother Abbess of the Monastery on April 1716. Veronica placed the keys of the convent in the hands of the BVM and said, “You are the Abbess, I will do as you order me.” To which the Virgin Mary replied, I am the superior, you must accept my guidance in everything.”
The Blessed Virgin Mary put out a fire in the convent, which had started in the chapel by a candle carelessly left lit on a wooden reading table. Veronica writes, “At half past six, the sisters and I were terribly frightened by a vast fire in the church. It seemed that everything was going up in flames, I appealed to the Holy Virgin, I asked her in her mercy to put out the fire and in my heart I felt that my appeal would be granted. So, with faith in Mary I approached the place of the fire, when I made the sign of the cross, the flames receded. In an instant everything was over. Blessed be God and Mary.” The BVM later confirmed to her that without her prayers the entire convent would have burnt.
The BVM also took the place of Veronica as abbess when Veronica was mystically away in hell for hours. Once Sister Maria Biovanna Maggio went to talk to Veronica and she noticed a “majestic and extraordinary expression on her face.”  She left consoled by the words from her abbess but wondered why she had spoken to her so little. When she told this to Blessed Florida, the latter smiled and said, “Keep in mind that today Mother Veronica is in hell sacrificing for the conversion of sinners. The person who was with you was the Holy Virgin who appears in place of Mother Veronica.” Blessed Florida (who was beatified by Pope John Paul II on May 16, 1993) knew well all the details of Veronica’s life because Veronica’s confessors had imposed on her the obedience to inform Sister Florida about everything in her spiritual life.
From 1720 onwards, it was the BVM who dictated to her the diary. During that period she began narrating in the second person. On the Feast of the Annunciation, March 25, 1727, the BVM tells her to put an end to writing the diary with this last sentence, “Fa punto.” (Put a period.)
The incorrupt body of St Veronica Giuliani
Into Life Eternal
Veronica spent the last years of her life in continuous union with God. She wrote, “When God gives His graces of union and transformation, these are the same as those enjoyed by the blessed souls in heaven. They enjoy God in God: it is a continuous banquet of love with love.”
On June 6th, at the moment of Holy Communion she had a stroke. From that time she suffered for 33 days a purgatory on Earth: physical and moral sufferings and temptations from the devil. On July 9, 1727 at dawn, she received permission to die from her confessor and went to her eternal abode. Her last words were, “Love has let Himself be found.”
Veronica was beatified on June 17, 1804 by Pope Pius VII and canonized on May 26, 1839 by Pope Gregory XVI.
The Autopsy
An autopsy was performed on Veronica the day of her death after lunch. During her lifetime, Veronica had told Blessed Florida that her heart bore certain symbols of the passion and that it had been engraved with the letters representing the vows she had taken. Blessed Florida made a sketch of her heart with all the signs that Veronica described. When her heart was dissected in half during the autopsy, it revealed mysterious incisions shaped like the outlines of the instruments of the Passion, the seven swords of Our Lady, and a number of letters.
O Lord Jesus Christ, who did glorify St. Veronica by the marks of Thy suffering, grant us the grace to crucify our flesh and thus become worthy of attaining to the joys of eternity. Who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.
-St Veronica Giuliani, pray for us!
Emmanuele Del Cuore Immacolato e Addolorato di Maria, Fr. “Santa Veronica Giuliani Vera Discepola e Apostola di Maria” September 16, 2013.
Giuliani, S. Veronica. Il Diario. Compiled by Maria Teresa Carloni. Siena, Italy:Edizioni Cantagalli, 2010. Print.
Leonardi, Fr. John, o.f.m.Cap. Saint Veronica Giuliani. Loreto, Italy, Litografia Lauretana, 1986. Print.
Lord, Bob and Penny. “Saint Veronica Giuliani.” Visionaries, Mystics and Stigmatists down through the Ages.  Journeys of Faith, 1995. 257-285. Print.
The Life and Teachings of St. Veronica Giuliani. Delaware: Two Hearts Media Organization, 2006. Print.


Mark J. said...

I was wondering when you were going to put St Veronica on here! Glad to read this post.

Joseph J. said...

Great article. Thanks for posting it. It is helpful concerning a book that I am working on.
Best wishes, Joseph J.

Pilgrim Padre said...

Are you in the process of translating the whole diary, or did you mean that you are only translating key passages? Please contact me if you are translating the whole diary.

Anonymous said...

Fascinating and inspiring.

“I love souls so much that I want the whole world to see and know it, so as to revive the memory of My Passion, and so that faith, that has grown so feeble among Christians, may be renewed. They are now Christians in name alone."
- Our Lord to St. Veronica Giuliani

Anonymous said...

What a great life of a saint that I have barely known about. What miracles did she perform?
Kind regards,
Joseph Boutros

St Saint Veronica Giuliani, pray for us.
(Sorry guys I just kept forgetting to add things)

Anonymous said...

Hi, can anyone shed some light please.
I feel as though I am going to hell if there are nuns in pergatory. I sin all the time, in my thoughts and actions.

I read above that the devil disguised itself as a cat and even as the bishop, how would we know when we are confronted with the devil?

St Veronica suffered so much, I am afraid to suffer and in all honesty I pray that I dont suffer (in sickness or false prosecution) does that mean I am weak?

Glenn Dallaire said...

Hi Anonymous,
To reply to your first question, fortunately for most of us the demons are not permitted to wage "open" warfare upon us like God allows them to with certain mystic-saints. For most of us its simply a hidden warfare in the shadows, primarily with temptations and encouragements to sin. And so, unlike some of the mystics, fortunately for us we are not normally openly confronted with the demonic.

As for your second question, we are NOT called to ask for more suffering; we are simply called to accept the suffering we have already been given, offering it to Jesus in union with His sacrifice on the Cross.

May God bless you and your loved ones,
Glenn Dallaire

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your blessings Glenn, may God always bless you also

Robert R. said...

Thank you Glenn for this wonderful article on this little known saint. This website has become so addictive for me. Every time I think I have seen it all, there appears another gem I seem to have overlooked. I tell every one I think who might benefit from this site about it. May God bless and your family for doing His work in disseminating the need to turn to Christ and all the saints throughout all of one's life.

Robert R.

Glenn Dallaire said...

Hi Robert R,
I am really happy to hear that you are enjoying and are benefiting from this website. Thanks for your comment and may Jesus bless you and your loved ones!
-Glenn Dallaire

Anonymous said...

I happened upon your site thought Catholic Online and I'm so grateful that I did, thank you for all of your efforts to open our eyes to the love of our Heavenly Father and how he touched the lives of so many before us.
God Bless you!
Karen H

Glenn Dallaire said...

Thanks Karen H!---I am really glad to hear that you enjoyed the article. May God bless you and your loved ones.
Glenn Dallaire

Anonymous said...

Hi Glenn! Do you know where I can buy a copy of St. Veronica Giuliani's diary in English? Great website!

Glenn Dallaire said...

Hi Anonymous,
Unfortunately I do not know where to obtain a hard copy of her Diary in English--sorry.

May God bless you and your loved ones,
Glenn Dallaire

Jonathan said...

I shouldn't be surprised. When I find a new saint I've only recently come to know, like Veronica Guiliani, one I am specially called to adopt as advocate and guide, I return here only to find him or her already devoutly depicted on your website. Thanks, Glenn, for your faith and our friendship, first begun with St. Gemma's adoption of me.

Glenn Dallaire said...

Thanks Jonathan! May St Veronica be your special advocate and heavenly friend!

-Glenn Dallaire

Matthew said...

I can only hope i go to purgatory instead of Hell where the outcome is irreversible.
Lord Jesus have mercy on me. Even an earthly pebble has more merit than I do.
St Veronia Giuliani pray for us.

They just finished building a church in Lebanon, middle East for her
The ONLY church outside Italy dedicated to
her. Glory be to God!

Br Nikoy said...

Pax et bonum!

I am very much happy to read once again the life of one of my favorite saints--St. Veronica G....I came to know her through a book about her and read it with attention and reverence..and re-read thrice before I returned it to the owner...I simply in awe with her!

Anyone there can lend me a book of our beloved St Veronica G? I am from the Philippines...and a Religious seminarian...

God bless..

Br Nikoy

Tonyg said...

Does anyone know if anyone is currently working on an English translation of "Il Diario"? If no one else is I was considering having a go of it. I know last year a big-budget movie of St Veronica was made in Italy--The Awakening of a Giant." Hopefully it will get released with English subtitles soon.

Emily said...

In the picture of the heart entitled "A drawing of the mystical wounds that Jesus imprinted upon the heart of St Veronica Giuliani", does anyone know what the letters stand for? Especially C V F O on the cross?
Thank you.

Unknown said...

Hi I would like to know where is her grave in Italy? Thank you

Anonymous said...

I can understand the argument that suffering is allowed on earth due to the ramifications of free will and that suffering can, if not too extreme, build strength and purify the soul on earth but why, when God is omnipotent, is suffering allowed after death of the body? Sometimes it seems to me that far far more emphasis is on suffering than on curing! After all Our Lord was supposed to have suffered in our place, ie instead of us, it all I ever read is that when souls get close to Jesus He encourages them to suffer more and more, the reason being to alleviate the suffering of others, but why so much suffering? “Only say the word and my soul shall be healed” so why not say the word? “Ask and it shall be given...” so ask for healing as I have myself and nothing is healed. It seems to me enough with the suffering!

Sorry all but really!

Pilgrim Padre said...

And yet some members of Christ's body were so united to him that they share in his sufferings (Phil 3) and end up releasing here and now the healing that Christ won for us on the cross. Take Padre Pio for example. By the way, not all suffering is simply "allowed" by God because of free will. There is another player on the field who tries to steal kill and destroy. That one also causes suffering to try to get Christians tonaccuse God with him.

Anonymous said...

Fr Christopher, is your last sentence supposed to be saying that the enemy tries to get Christians to confuse God with him? If so I agree.

If we only knew more about how these spiritual powers work we might be able to understand suffering better, but we don’t, furthermore I doubt that many professionals understand it any more either!

We’re the two victim souls of Fatima really old enough to know what they were doing when they agreed to suffer? I read the story of Fatima with horror frankly.

All I can say is, suffering is common place, miracle cures are not so common.

Anonymous said...

Also Fr Christopher, if you really want to communicate an idea you should use plain language which is understandable to un educated people. I often listen to experts who tend to pay more attention to self aggrandisement than to the imparting of enlightenment, in other words keep it simple and forget about vanity.

Pilgrim Padre said...

Thanks for the correction. It is duely noted. I sometimes forget how I come across. My way of putting words together is a result of trauma, unfortunately. Last sentence of the other comment was supposed to say "to accuse" God. Sorry for any confusion. Peace

Anonymous said...

Fr Christopher, peace to you, and I apologise for any perceived aggression in my comments, oddly they too are the result of trauma.

Jonathan said...

I suppose the emphasis on suffering is stressed because it is all too often part of our human experience, and without understanding that it can be used by God to warn, correct or even reward (in heaven) sinners (all of us!) for their endurance, we can be easily traumatized or dismayed to the point of losing hope because suffering becomes too much to bear.

Why suffering after this life? After our choices have been made, and we are ripe with the stain of sin which God should not permit in his presence, we are mercifully given a "second chance" to atone for the temporal punishment our sins have merited by God's merciful establishment of purgatory as a place of purification.

Hope this helps explain why the Church teaches there may be suffering after death in addition to immortal bliss.

God bless! --Fr. Jonathan Atchley

Anonymous said...

Thanks Fr Jonathan, I understand the idea of purgatory and that it’s a mercy for those who are not beyond redemption but I have also read stories of how physical ailments have been instantly healed. I don’t understand why our souls can’t be instantly healed in the same way. I find it difficult to think of an omnipotent God who loves us dearly not being willing to heal our souls without us being subjected to yet more pain and suffering in purgatory. Then again I read an account of how Jesus had told St Padre Pio that He needed victim souls willing to suffer in order to appease His Father, God, without which God was ready to abandon mankind to their fate.
My priest actually advocated not reading about mystics and such especially since their messages are confusing and possibly misleading to some degree. I can see why since I am forming some very odd ideas whilst reading generally about the mystics.

Anonymous said...

Actually was it not an Angel, the angel of peace, who gave us through the children the Fatima prayer, “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy.” a lovely prayer which includes the words...especially those in most need of thy mercy. Surely the angel was referring to the very worst of us sinners? Was the angel asking Jesus to take those in most need of thy mercy to try to obtain forgiveness from our Father?

Excuse my ignorance but the angel didn’t suggest we pray that Jesus takes only the righteous to heaven, he prayed to take all souls to heaven especially the worst sinners. Am I missing something?

I am a believer by the way, I just don’t get it.

Anonymous said...

I think we ought to exercise caution when we compare the gifts of Saints. All saints are great and close to God. It goes against Catholicism to call some saints greater than others. It actually means nothing. I just saw that the author likened this saint to another so l took the opportunity to make a general comment not necessarily about this article.

Anonymous said...

We are all going to hell if we continue to deny Christ, ignore our conscience and serve the devil. We must continue to ask God for his forgiveness, strength, etc. We must truly desire to live in eternity with Him.

Brother Michael of the Cross said...

In pictures of mystics and saints, often they have a miserable expression on their face, but it wasn't immediately obvious what was the cause. Then it dawned on me, that it was not for themselves or anything they suffered, but for the sins people commit and the pains they cause Jesus, now and in the passion.

Anonymous said...

I believe it is an authentic and a real prayer from heaven, and about the line "especially who need most of thy mercy" I think it talks about souls who do not know God, souls that perish their lives doing drugs and etc. ,souls who are atheist, who are not in the state of grace unlike us who have heard and reached by the word of God. But generally we are all sinners , all same, no exemptions. This prayer also shows mercy and care and love towards your neighbor/stranger just like the story of a good samaritan.

Unknown said...

as much as I find St Veronica's sainthood inspiring, as much as I falter and feel there is no way I can follow her steps. It takes much to live like a real Christian, I feel somehow discouraged...

Andyleeson said...

'Pray,hope and don't worry.' The words of another great mystic come to mind.'Pray the Rosary every day for peace of mind and it will soon follow.Amen

Gjeka said...

Great saint of God. as All Saints are great. (“These souls are cold, and with the cold comes sin, and with sin, they offend God, the Great Creator. And then…justice…chastisement. I seemed to see the Lord with three spears in hand, and He made me understood that He wanted to punish Christianity for the offenses and sins committed.)... great time to post this prophecy it looks like we are in the times where we going to experience the 3 spear first two were the first two world wars.. God's will be done now and forever 🙏🙏🙏

Anonymous said...

Where can I get an English book on st. veronica giuliani diary?
Also, if there is none, what book would you recommend.
And you should have a Top 20 or Top something book list and have links to Amazon. Maybe you can make some profit on suggesting some books through Amazon. God BLess

Beloved said...

St Veronica pray for us! Pray for my daughter Veronica and repair our relationship! 💕