Veronica of the Cross
July 12, 1923 - August 3, 1995
Her final agony, scourging and heroism

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September 1995

On Thursday, August 3rd at 4:44 a.m., in the year of Our Lord 1995, Veronica Lueken, the seer of Bayside was called home to her eternal reward following 25 years of dedication and service to Our Lady as a messenger for Heaven. She was 72 years old.

          The official cause of Veronica's passage has been listed as congestive heart failure, which occurred in the hospital while under intensive care. However, a more accurate cause would be almost three decades of pain and suffering and sorrow as an ambassador of Heaven.

          The time of her death coincided exactly to the minute (EDT) with that of Robert Kennedy, whose own tragic death would ironically give birth to a Mission that would transform the life of Veronica from an ordinary New York housewife to a suffering visionary of worldwide prominence. In God's providence, her mission which began with Bobby would somehow end with Bobby. 

          Veronica's decease comes on the heels of an excruciating bout with illness she had undergone for the past seven months. Shrine director, Michael Mangan, comments that Veronica had been "racked with pain" in the last period, being debilitated and bedridden for most of that time.

"The Father chose you, My child, long before He set you upon earth."
Our Lady, Sept. 13, 1973

          Her recent ordeal marked the final episode in an ongoing drama of suffering that actually began 27 years ago, when St. Theresa first summoned Veronica to the mission from Heaven in June of 1968. For it was no sooner that Veronica had offered her charitable "Yes" to Heaven, that her sufferings and crosses mysteriously increased and continued accelerating through the years to the end that Our Lady crowned Veronica with the title of "Veronica of the Cross" (June 18, 1980).

          Hence, it was in January 1995 that Veronica was to enter upon the final dregs of her passion which was to reach its ultimate consummation seven months later with her expiration on August 3rd.

To recap the events of her final agony: Veronica was rushed to the hospital on Sunday, January 15th, 1995, overcome with the excruciating pain in her back and legs that had afflicted her for some time. A battery of tests revealed a tumor on a nerve near her spine.

          A grueling 5-hour neurosurgery was performed on Friday, January 27th. Although the surgery was successful and the tumor benign, it took a major toll on Veronica's health. Moreover, she suffered a heart attack during the course of the operation which left her all the more depleted. After further tests and observation, her doctors scheduled heart surgery but later cancelled it when it was deemed too risky for Veronica's delicate health. Heart medications were prescribed instead.  

          Veronica was finally released from the hospital on Thursday, February 23rd, forty days later or the duration of a Lent.

          Meanwhile, the Shrine office had undergone its own heartaches and pains, as their direct line to Heaven had virtually been cut off now. For up until that time, Veronica had been in regular contact with Michael and others at the Shrine office, to advise them and to bring them the latest messages and counsels from Our Lady.

          Left without the extraordinary means of guidance, as well as Veronica's wisdom, they were now forced to depend more on the ordinary, but very effective, means common to all people: prayer, the use of our God-given faculties, the wisdom of the Church and saints and, of course, Heaven's past messages through Veronica.

          Heaven was preparing their troops in steps for what was soon to come.

          Veronica's recovery was slow and painful, and offered her little opportunity to leave her sickbed. Furthermore, she had to make several trips back to the hospital during that time to be treated for complications. It was not an optimistic outlook for Veronica, with dreary skies holding on, though the storm had somewhat abated for the moment.

However, things were looking up. Veronica definitely rallied a bit. She went to her daughter's for Easter and you could tell that her spark and verve was back, if but for a short time.

          In fact, on Tuesday the 11th, in speaking with Michael, Veronica said that she was planning to come to the 25th Anniversary Vigil on June 17th, and even stated that she and Arthur (her husband) were planning this year to be at the Anniversary Banquet.

          She had already called Regina Fox, pilgrimage organizer, and ordered four tickets for Arthur and herself and her dear friends, Ann (her secretary) and Eugene Ferguson.

          Regina would tell us later that she was overwhelmed and struck by the call because Veronica kindly asked if it was even possible for her to obtain a Banquet ticket. (To think that the head of the whole Shrine would ask for a ticket! It goes to show the humble and lowly stature that this woman maintained before God and men.)

          Reservations were quickly made, along with special arrangements, to accommodate their special guest of honor for this highly momentous occasion.

          For the first time since January 15th, the sun had broken through the clouds a bit to cast a ray of enthusiasm on the work, as plans were rolling full steam ahead at headquarters to make ready for the 25th Anniversary celebration.

          However, this day of sunshine was short-lived, as clouds of doubt soon returned to dampen the outlook.

Veronica was hospitalized with kidney problems, at which time they discovered a malignant tumor on her right kidney. After a series of tests to determine her fitness for another surgery, an operation was scheduled for June 6th. In the meantime, Veronica's condition continued to deteriorate.

          On Monday the 29th, Memorial Day, Michael and his assistant, James Donohue, went to see Veronica in the hospital. Before going, Arthur advised that they had best prepare themselves for an unfamiliar sight. When the two of them came upon her room, they were struck to the heart and moved with pity to see her so reduced this time, and in such a state of affliction. As Michael relates, "She was a picture of suffering, almost a horror to see. She had lost at least 50 pounds."

          Ann and her daughter, Maureen, visited Veronica the next day and expressed similar sentiments.

          However, Veronica was at least conscious, which motivated Michael to speak with her. He then told her that all the pilgrims were praying for her, and that they planned to see her on June 17th. She perked up and a sweet smile swept her gaunt face.

The scourging
Then afterwards he asked her, "Veronica, has Our Lady come to you?" Veronica said, "Yes." "What did Our Lady say?" continued Michael. Veronica managed to moan, "You will be. . . " (the last word was scarcely discernible). "You will be studied?" Michael replied perplexed. It didn't make sense but that's what it sounded like. "You will be..." Veronica uttered. (Again, the last word was not distinguishable.) "You will be saved?" Michael queried.

"You were chosen for your strength in suffering. "
Our Lady, March 18, 1973

          A little exasperated at this point, Veronica raised her head and her voice with resolute determination and exclaimed, "You WILL BE SCOURGED." Veronica was here repeating a message that Our Lady had given her sometime prior to this visit.

          By this message, Our Lady was referring to the excruciating scourge of suffering she was enduring and that would continue uninterrupted until the day of her translation from her sickbed on August 3rd. Veronica added she was undergoing heavy penance for the priesthood and especially for the safety of the Pope.

On Tuesday the 6th, Veronica underwent her operation in which her entire right kidney was removed. The operation accomplished its particular purpose, so that she was at least able to return home a week later.

          However, it dealt a major blow to her health, so that her overall condition took a turn for the worse.

          Accordingly, Arthur called the office on the 16th, one day before the vigil, and said, "Listen, Michael, there is no way that Veronica can come to this vigil." Veronica was now laid up and virtually incapacitated. Her scourging was unrelenting.

          And so it stands that the 25th Anniversary festivities went on as usual, while our celebrated seer was undergoing her silent crucible at home.

A Heavenly rendezvous
On Monday evening the 19th, just one day after the Anniversary Banquet, Michael and Regina Fox went to visit Veronica at her home. Veronica was asleep when they arrived, so the two dined with Arthur, as they conversed in good company.

          They also passed on to Arthur and for Veronica, Anniversary flowers, gifts, mementos, and a large piece of the celebration cake from the Banquet. Later they would enjoy it and express their gratitude for everything.

          At about 8:30 p.m., the three went into Veronica's room, only to see that she was still sleeping. So Michael and Regina knelt down by her bed and prayed to Our Lady silently, whereupon Veronica began to stir immediately. Michael then held her hand and expressed his best regards toward her saying, "We missed you at the Vigil, we love you, everyone is praying for you." Then Regina approached, spoke to Veronica and expressed her affection. Regina later remarked: "I was taken aback in seeing her suffering and how much weight she had lost and the look of suffering in her face and her whole being." Veronica was listening and alert, though, even if she was suffering immensely.

          Then Michael said, "Veronica, you're going to have to get better for your 50th wedding anniversary in November." But Veronica retorted, "Well, you'll have to speak to Jesus about that." It was as if to say, "The Master has already arranged something a little different, so you'll have to take it up with the Boss."

          Michael then asked, "Has Our Lady appeared to you?" Veronica then informed them that Our Lady had appeared to her over the weekend dressed as Our Lady of the Roses, Mary Help of Mothers. She said that Our Lady told her she would be "happy in the next life" and exhorted her to "keep smiling and be happy."

          Then Veronica said, "They say I am going to die." Michael responded, "Oh. Well, when is Our Lord and Our Lady going to take you? Are they going to take you to Heaven soon?" Heaven would answer this question very shortly in Their own way with a little demonstration.

          Regina then placed her blue crystal Rosary in Veronica's hands and the agonizing seer fingered the crucifix. Regina made the sign of the cross for Veronica with the crucifix as they began to pray, with Veronica leading the prayers. Michael and Regina with Arthur recited three Hail Mary's, one Glory Be, the St. Michael prayer, the Guardian Angel prayer, and an Act of Contrition.

          Veronica then excused herself and said she had to pray to Our Lady. She vocalized her prayer: "I will suffer for you, but be gentle with me for l am a fragile soul." Veronica repeated this two more times and said again that she was suffering for priests.

A prophetic demonstration
After she had prayed, Our Lady prompted Veronica to extend her hands toward Michael with her fingers slightly bent, her fingertips and thumbs pointing at each other and her palms facing her. Veronica said slowly, "Hold on to my fingertips (pause) and then let go." Michael complied. He then repeated the instructions as he went through the motion again, "O.K., Veronica, I have touched your fingertips, and now l have let go."  

Simulated photo

          She then reached up with her hands and gently and lovingly held Michael's face.

          It was as if she was saying, "I'm holding on by a mere thread now, but soon it will break and you will all be on your own."

          Meanwhile, Regina asked, "Who do you see?" Veronica responded, "I see Jesus and He's sooo handsome." Imagine! Jesus and Mary were present in the room for the whole time directing and inspiring this entire exchange.

          Veronica went on to say, "The Scapular saves so many souls, and the Rosary." She held the brown Scapular hanging around her neck and fingered Regina's Rosary resting on her stomach. She then wrapped the Scapular around the rose petal that Michael had given her.

          Veronica never once complained. She suffered sweetly and calmly with complete resignation to her lot.

          At the end of the visit, Michael made the sign of the cross three times with the blessed rose petal on Veronica's forehead and then embraced her with a hug and kiss.

          Hence, we see the providence and plan of God at this meeting, and the manner in which Heaven had arranged this visit, in order that the world might know that Veronica's decease was already preordained and scheduled by Heaven.

          It also symbolizes, too, the handing over of the reins, so to speak, to Arthur, Ann and Michael. In fact, before her final agony, Veronica elicited promises from all three that they would continue this Mission. And they are all deeply committed to do so with your help.

          Jesus and Mary have promised us that they will be with us until the end of time (July 1, 1985), so we can be assured that through this leadership Heaven will continue to guide and direct this Mission.  

[Note: See Jesus and Mary chose Michael Mangan.]

On Thursday the 6th, Veronica was back in the hospital with complications, among them she couldn't eat again. The doctors also discovered a dysfunctional bladder and an infection in the urinary tract. Veronica was in bad shape, so she had to spend her 72nd birthday (Wednesday, the 12th) in the hospital.

          Nonetheless, her birthday was still celebrated and that cheered her up. Mary DeBlasio, Veronica's friend and a devotee since 1970, brought along for her visit a birthday cake, and so they had a little party with Arthur and the nurses' aides joining in. And the full-time workers on key belted out "Happy Birthday" to her on the phone. She enjoyed that.

          On Monday the 17th, Michael and Jim Maat, a full-time worker, went to see Veronica in the hospital, which was to mark the workers’ last visit and communication with the seer of Bayside. As Michael relates, Veronica was not coherent this time, though she was acting a bit lively, but not in a sound way. In all honesty, our dear Veronica was not well. Twenty-seven years of suffering had now reduced her to a state of misery and muttering.

          Yet, Michael relates that at one point in the visit, Veronica suddenly and remarkably became very lucid and buoyant and came forward with the direction that we should stay within our "cloisters" (cloister means enclosure).

"I assure you, My child, you shall not be taken from your mission
until the Eternal Father feels that you have completed it well."

Our Lady, October 6, 1975

          This was Our Lord coming through with His final words of counsel to the world. Heaven was exhorting us all to remain out of the world now, and to remain within our homes in order that we might collect ourselves and our senses to God. For our homes (with the crucifixes on the doors) will be our fortress to shield us against the elements of the world, especially during the oncoming fury.

          Our Lord also said that no matter how big of a sinner you are, God's mercy and forgiveness are there until the end.

          Hence, we see this last invitation from Heaven to come enter the ark of mercy, and ride out these last days in peace. (God loves a sincere heart and always welcomes a humble confession.)

          When Veronica was finished Jim inquired, "Who was that?” "That's Jesus up there," Veronica replied matter-of-factly, looking up near the ceiling.

          On Monday the 31st, Veronica was rushed to the hospital again, this time with a touch of pneumonia and a wasting fever of 105.3°. Also, they found that both her blood and urinary tract were infected. The hospital advised Arthur that he had better call the family. He did and later the family gathered around the bedside.

On Wednesday the 2nd, Arthur checked with the hospital again to learn this time that Veronica's blood pressure was back to normal, and that she had stabilized somewhat. Consequently, the tension had relaxed at headquarters and at the Lueken home. And even though Veronica had received the Last Rites during this time, it really was not acknowledged or accepted fully that Veronica was about to leave us on a sudden.

The homecoming
But on Thursday morning the 3rd, at 6 a.m., Arthur called Michael at the community residence to pass on to him the following: "I have very sad news to report; Veronica died this morning at 4:44." Arthur broke down at that time, whereupon Michael consoled him with the truth that she is in Heaven with Jesus and Mary. Arthur agreed, saying, "She's where we hope to be someday."

          The shock wave of Arthur's news reverberated throughout headquarters during the early morning hours. The workers were startled and saddened, but resigned to God's will.

          After morning Mass and Communion, they jumped on the phones and spent the entire day notifying all the organizers and major promoters of what had just transpired.

Click here for the wake, funeral and burial details.

          After the funeral Mass, a line of cars over a mile long processed over 50 miles to the burial site where two priest-friends performed the final ceremonies amidst 300 people. A special area was designated near the casket for the immediate family of Veronica.

          And of course, there was her dear husband, Arthur, at the center of all, who was taking the brunt of this whole ordeal since January. But even so, he maintained an upright and steady heart throughout this time, always devoted and attentive to his wife's needs.

          After the burial, Arthur treated many people to dinner at a restaurant, where friends and family wound up things in good spirits.

          And so on Monday the 7th in the 1995th year of Our Lord, Veronica Lueken was buried next to her son Raymond, who preceded her by 21 years. May she rest in blissful peace.

          It is interesting to note that Veronica departed this vale of tears at the age of 72, since it was at this age that Our Lady Herself departed from this life and was assumed into Heaven.

          We might note too, that August 3rd in the traditional Catholic calendar is not designated as a feast day for any saint in the Churchit's an open slot. All indications are that Veronica Lueken will eventually be canonized a saint of the Roman Catholic Church. Already the faithful throughout the world are praying to her and invoking her intercession under the title, "Veronica of the Cross."

Yes, Veronica's role upon earth is finished: the groundwork has been laid. Our Lady of the Roses Shrine now enters upon a new and glorious phase of existence, just as its founder, Veronica, has now entered into a new and glorious phase of her existence. For being loosed from her earthly bindings, she is now at liberty to assist from Heaven the mission she so loved while on earth.

          When we reflect on the life of St. Theresa, we see that it wasn't until after her death that her message and sanctity became universally acclaimed. Such was the case with many other saints.

          So we should understand that Heaven has cued us up to this point, and has entrusted us with a great mission.

It all started 27 years ago when one faithful soul decided to say yes to God, with the promise that she would be forever true to Him, in sickness and in health, for better or for worse. This was Veronica, Heaven's faithful witness.

          When we speak of Veronica, we speak of fidelity, as her whole countenance bespoke of that unwavering allegiance to the truth that set her apart from all other groupings of today, save the Church.

          For this woman of God stood forth with honor and pledged her allegiance to God and country, and defended always what was pure and upright in the eyes of her Maker. She honored and loved her husband all her days and cared for her family, and maintained an earnest affection and sense of dedication toward her fellow man which has rendered her as being a true friend of God and mana model of Christian virtue.

Veronica was actually a jovial-type person. She was not one who would ever make a person feel uncomfortable, but was always gentle and considerate in her dealings with people. Her forthright frankness and sense of confidentiality tended to draw people gently toward her. For they saw in her the image of the living Christ.

"Our Lady and Jesus do want all of the Mary workers to know
that the day will come when I, Veronica, will no longer
be among you and you must all carry the work forward
in great haste and with great love and devotion."

Veronica, May 7,1975

          In Webster's, the name Veronica means "true image," which brings to mind the manner in which the image of Christ's face was perfectly reproduced on the towel of St. Veronica when she wiped Jesus' face. This prefigured the manner in which the truth itself is perfectly reproduced in the soul of our seer Veronica, without adulteration or impurity, in order that the world at this last hour might behold the truth (or true image) of Christ in its full splendor and beauty.

          Yea, the truth flowed through Veronica without the least hindrance. For she was a prophet of the Most High God, sent forth to address mankind in these latter days with the counsels and warnings of God—word-for-word as given to her by God.

Veronica's heroism is particularly worthy of mention. For she stood behind her God and ardently assisted Him in bringing His warnings to the world, knowing full well it would bring upon her all the hatred and spittle of a fallen generation.

          Moreover, she was perfectly resigned to be an outcast in the Church for the sake of her beloved Jesus. She is the counterpart of St. Veronica, who stepped forward with compassion to wipe Jesus' face with a towel during His passion.

          We should point out here that by defending Jesus in this manner, she (St. Veronica) had to step out of line and defy what her priests and religious leaders were doing (the Pharisees and chief priests).

          In like manner, Veronica Lueken had the good will and courage to stand forth and defend Jesus against the opinion of the jeering crowd today. She shamed the Pharisees and high priests of our day (the clergy) for their infidelity, and their seeking to do away with Jesus and His beloved institution of old. She had become the censurer of their thoughts: the thorn in their side.

          As such, Veronica Lueken has been booed and hissed throughout the universal Church. Her name has been slammed, her reputation dragged through the mud of the media, with all the lies and slander and derisive comments that human envy could invent.

          She endured numerous death threats and frequent harassment and acts of thuggery at her home, for which the best available security equipment had to be installed.

This is not to mention the great physical suffering Veronica had to endure. Her body was an ongoing furnace of pain whereby she was continuously tried and purified so that she could continue her mission for Heaven in the purest state of grace. She suffered from a litany of ailments, including: heart, kidney, bladder, spinal, arthritic problems, chronic fatigue, tinnitus... on and on we could go. In one stretch alone from 1979 to 1982, she was hospitalized 13 times for extended stays. A book could be written just on Veronica's physical ailments.

          But it is sufficient to say that Veronica Lueken's life was the story of suffering—not only physical, but mental, emotional and spiritual. She truly was the image of the Holy Face, even reliving the Passion of Christ every Lent and bearing His wounds (the stigmata).

          But it is through the fires of suffering and persecution that God has forged yet another saint—a true image of His only Begotten. Like a gold trophy, she has emerged from the fires as a champion for Heaven, having been tried in the furnace of humiliation.

This is one soul the devil couldn't break. Her strength in suffering and steadfast determination to persevere for God was her victory
and ours.

          We should understand, that throughout the past 25 years, the entire Bayside movement was at the mercy of Veronica's free will. For at any moment during that time she could have bowed out and gone the easy road, thus bringing the mission to a premature end.

On April 7, 1979, Our Lady proposed Veronica with the option of either continuing as a voicebox, or taking her rest and proceeding straight to Heaven. But Veronica said, "No, I couldn't be selfish," as her concern for the mission and her family took precedence.

          Again on January 10, 1994, Our Lady presented Veronica with this same option when She appeared to her and told her "Veronica, I'm going to give you a choice to suffer for souls or go over the veil." Again, Veronica's sense of duty to God urged her on to go the extra mile, thus bringing the mission to the fullness of days.

          With this, we should understand then the great emphasis God places on the free will of man, and the manner in which He acts according to it.

          Adam and Eve used their freewill to sin, and the entire human race has been suffering because of it ever since.

          The Blessed Virgin used Her free will to say "Yes" to God, whereby it opened up the whole story of man's redemption, which otherwise would have never occurred.

          Similarly, Veronica said "Yes" to Heaven, in order that the Eternal Father might reach the world at this last hour with the warnings from on high.

          Yea, Veronica Lueken will go down to be one of the great heroic figures of history. For it was through her that the almighty led the crusade to save the Church in the last days. She was the major channel of truth for mankind during a time when the world had passed into deep spiritual darkness.

          And the truth has prevailed: the groundwork to restore the Church has been laid. On May 28,1983, Our Lady told Veronica, "All Heaven is greatly of heart for you and those who came with you from Heaven's direction to build up an apostleship that shall be forever written in the annals of the Church."

          In the message from Heaven, Our Lady often tells Veronica that we must work and pray for the repatriation of souls. When we lookup the word repatriation in Webster's, it means just that: to make patriotic again, to restore loyalty or allegiance.

          And indeed, this summed-up Veronica's role—it was her entire purpose and manner of life. Let it be ours too.

          Let us place our hand over our hearts and pledge our allegiance to Jesus and Mary, and carry forth the banner of Faithful and True as soldiers for Christ. Let us return always to traditional values, and walk stoutly along the narrow road with the Rosary in hand and the Scapular about our necks.

          And let us always be firm in our resolution to shun any influence that could ever stifle or infringe upon such a noble cause.

          It took 27 years for Heaven to build up this apostolate to what it is. Let us then abide in it and work within it and make it our home, until that day soon when we arrive at our future home where we will reminisce with Jesus, Mary and Veronica over a mission well done.


The Virgin Mary appears in America

This beautiful story of grace, peace and redemption opened publicly on June 18, 1970 when the Mother of God visited Veronica Lueken on the grounds of the old St. Robert Bellarmine Church in Bayside, New York and later at the Vatican Pavilion site (blessed by Pope Paul VI) in Flushing Meadows Park, New York. Beginning in 1968, St. Theresa the Little Flower prepared Veronica for these Heavenly apparitions.

For 25 years, the Virgin Mary and Her Divine Son would appear to this mother of five children during Rosary Vigils until her passing in 1995. At the request of Our Lady, a Sunday Holy Hour for the Pope and priests was also established.

Over 300 comprehensive messages packed with guidance and wisdom for these latter days were transmitted through this seer named by Heaven, Veronica of the Cross.

The lay Order of St. Michael, a vibrant community of dedicated, celibate men have been appointed by Heaven to lead this global mission. Our Lady has prophesied that from this lay order will emerge the full-fledged religious Order of St. Michael, an order founded on tradition, which will also include women.

Our Lady has also stated that curative waters will erupt and a magnificent basilica will be erected at the original site of St. Robert’s.

The Vigils and Holy Hours continue to this day at the Vatican Pavilion inspired by Our Lord’s promise: “We have made Our home upon these grounds.” Cures and conversions abound and for countless pilgrims, faith and hope have been restored. We invite you to join us.

For a free rose petal blessed by Jesus and Mary for cure and conversion, a Vigil/Holy Hour calendar, and a religious gifts brochure, contact:

St Michael’s World Apostolate
P.O. Box 514 • Bayside, NY 11361
toll free orderline 1-888-830-SMWA


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