Who is your patron saint? How did you or your godparent choose this saint?
My given name is Lynne. My parents didn’t think it was important to name their children after saints back then, why? I do not know. I often wonder how it was that they got my name past the priest at my baptism, but somehow, they did. No, there is no St. Lynne; my mom always told me that it was up to me to become the first one. Oh, Mom…(shaking my head)…anyway…
I have always regretted that I had no patron saint and searched for years to find one who would claim me. I had always loved the story of the brave Veronika who had rushed out to greet the suffering Lord Jesus and wipe his Holy Face, despite the presence of the Roman guards. I had a profound experience along the Via Dolorosa while visiting Jerusalem on our honeymoon at the very spot where she had wiped Christ’s face and since then, I’ve had a longing to get to know her.
What do you know about your saint? What would you like to know?
I know her name means “true image,” and the concepts of living in truth and of transforming my personal image into the one God has designed for me have always been important personal goals. As I began to study the life of St. Veronika and the traditions surrounding her miraculous veil upon which Christ imposed the image of His Holy Face, I was stunned to learn that she was the niece of Zachariah, the father of John the Forerunner, who has always played a role in my married life. She was one of the women who attended to the needs of the disciples as they preached. I learned that she was the adopted mother of all the orphans and unwanted children in Jerusalem as well. She could bear no children of her own since she was considered by tradition to have been the woman who was healed of the 12-year hemorrhage by simply touching the hem of Christ’s garment.
It seemed so beautiful how it came to be that she had reached out to touch His garment, hoping to find relief from the blood she was shedding, and then years later she would reach out and touch her garment to Him, hoping to provide relief to Him Who was shedding His own blood for her. How brave she was to risk her safety, with children in tow! Passing through the angry crowd and the pagan soldiers who surrounded her and her God, she approached Him boldly. She could not offer him safety, nor freedom from pain, nor even a protest to His situation, but she offered Him what she could and provided a wonderful example of compassion for her children, both then and now. It’s what we mothers do.
The Prologue of Ohrid tells that Veronika lived on to old age, touching the beautiful veil to all those who needed healing, and that many miracles were attributed to her actions. The garment carried Christ’s healing power to all who came in contact with it. May God grace me to follow in her footsteps and do the same.
What role does your saint play in your daily spiritual life?
Blood and children both became somewhat of a theme in my life when I became a medical technologist and began to study blood as a profession. It was a professional goal for me, then, to treat each of my patients with the same compassion that she showed toward Christ, collecting their blood as she collected His, and then respectfully analyzing it in hopes of providing them with information that would lead to their healing.
I retired from the lab after only about ten years to assume my true vocation as the mother of my five children. Her bravery inspired me initially to accept as many of the children as the Lord saw fit to send me. I wanted to lead them to Christ as she led her children to Him, allowing them to witness love and devotion to Him in action, wiping His Holy Face with the apron of my vocation and showing them by example how to do the same.
Have you ever been asked to be a godparent? Did you help choose your godchild’s saint?
My goddaughter’s name is Veronica Rose. Her mother told me that she chose the name before she knew that I would be her godmother, and that Veronika was my chosen patron saint. How God works!
Share something special that forms a particular bond between you and your saint.
Veronika is thought to have been the woman who was healed from the twelve-year hemorrhage. I must admit that once, I had a similar hemorrhage and when I felt it was getting to the point where it might be dangerous, I called upon her intercession and was quickly healed. She is a most powerful advocate!