Up until June of 1968, Veronica lived the life of an ordinary New York City housewife with her five children. On June 6, 1968, the day that Robert F. Kennedy was shot down in California (U.S.A.) by an assassin, Veronica experienced a heavy perfume of roses when she responded to a radio appeal for prayers for the Senator. Some time after this manifestation St. Theresa the Little Flower (who has always been identified with roses, since her most famous promise, often quoted, was: "After my death, I will let fall a shower of roses from heaven") appeared to her in her home. This vision was also shared by Veronica's son, Raymond. St. Theresa dictated poem messages to Veronica. The Bayside Mission was launched.
Many mystical experiences began to occur, as St. Theresa gradually introduced Veronica into the way of spiritual childhood. This served to prepare Veronica for her eventual role of suffering as a victim soul and also as a latter day seer. It was to set the stage for the eventual appearance of the Virgin Mary.
Our Lady appeared to Veronica Lueken in her home on April 7, 1970 and stated that She wanted Rosary Vigils held outdoors, on the eves of all the major feast days of the Roman Catholic Church, on the grounds of the old St. Robert Bellarmine Church in the district of Bayside Hills, a division of Queens and one of the five boroughs of New York City. Our Lady announced that She wanted a Shrine established there and that She was to be invoked under the title of "Our Lady of the Roses, Mary Help of Mothers." She promised if these Vigils would be faithfully kept at Our Lady of the Roses Shrine, despite all weather conditions and other disturbances, She would appear to Veronica at each of the Rosary Vigils and give heavenly messages of worldwide importance. She asked that the Rosary be said continuously, aloud by all the pilgrims, during the Vigil.
And so, since June 18, 1970, thousands of people from all over the world have come to attend these Vigils at Our Lady of the Roses, Mary Help of Mothers Shrine which are directed by the members of St Michael's World Apostolate and are held in the open air despite all weather conditions. During this time several hundred messages were transmitted through Veronica who acted as a “voice box” repeating the words from Heaven. All was recorded live on audio tape.
As a victim soul, Veronica suffered enormously. Her body was an ongoing furnace of pain whereby she was continually 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 extensive stays. A book could be written just on Veronica's ailments. (see Gethsemani to Calvary--sufferings of Veronica of the Cross)
But it is sufficient to say that Veronica'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 she bore it all for Jesus and the Blessed Mother. Our Lady told Veronica on March 18, 1973, "You were chosen for your strength in suffering."
Veronica loved her fellow brothers and sisters. And she did what she could to lead them to Jesus and Our Lady. She underwent her final agony in 1995 and passed to her Heavenly reward. And now we can turn to Veronica of the Cross and ask her to pray for us.
Veronica Lueken has not taken up her rest. She has joined St Michael's World Apostolate from Heaven in propagating the Mission from Heaven.
Veronica of the Cross, pray for us.