ON MONDAY AFTERNOON, March 8,1971,during the season of Lent, Veronica saw in vision for the first time the Passion, the sufferings of Jesus from the agony in the garden to the crucifixion.
The vision alone was emotionally torturous and frightful enough as each scene unfolded leading to the slaughter of the Divine Lamb.
But even more, when it came to the crucifixion, Veronica physically felt what she saw: the spikes and blows from the mallet and the excruciating pain and desolation on the cross as she joined in the indescribable sufferings of Our Saviour. Veronica literally lived her own crucifixion.
It all began when Veronica (and four others) at the request of Our Lord were praying the sorrowful mysteries of the holy Rosary in her home. When the Passion had ended and her ecstasy had ceased, Veronica was left with a bitter remembrance: the stigmata or wounds of Christ on her hands, feet and brow.
The sores had the appearance of a healing wound, black and blue in color, and for the first few days blood from the hands and feet would ooze out. The wounds were in the shape of a cross on her insteps.
The stinging pain and soreness would persist for months on her hands and a couple of years on her feet before they would suddenly and totally disappear. It was very difficult for her to walk and for the longest time she couldn't wear shoes or stockings, resorting to thongs instead.
The painful mark in the middle of her forehead felt like a deep cut, representing the terrible wounds afflicted by the crown of thorns. It was about the size of a penny and lasted three days.
Veronica explained that the intensity of the pain diminished with the passage of time, adding that the wounds were hardly something frivolous or decorative, but in fact, a cause of great pain and anguish that the memory of it afflicts her even to this day.
Moreover, as a sacred reminder of her intimate participation in this inestimable act of love, it has been an unbroken Lenten custom since1971 for Veronica to relive this identical experience of the Passion and to bear the stigmata that follows.
It's a copy of her first stigmata but without the brow mark, bloodless and of far shorter duration. She suffers the throbbing pain in her hands and feet that lasts at least three or four days.
As we discovered about Veronica’s annual Lenten ordeal, this was something extremely stressful and taxing for her to even think about, much less discuss. Nevertheless, Veronica summed up neatly what she so often emphasized to us during the course of this grueling project on the Passion: “Believe me! This is not something to be wished or prayed for.”