August 15, our lady of the roses, mary help of mothers
Today is Our Lady's saint day. As I research the lives of those saints and visionaries who the church has certified, I wonder about those whose experiences the church rejects. Of the 295 reported marian apparitions studied by the Holy See through the centuries, only 12 have been approved. This is an unapproved one.
VERONICA OF THE CROSS
Veronica Lueken (aka Veronica of the Cross), a Queens, NY housewife, reported experiencing apparitions of Our Lady, Jesus, and numerous angels, Popes, and Catholic saints. Her lady saint visitors included Teresa of Avila, Bernadette Soubirous, Jacinta Marto, Saint Rita, Catherine Laboure, Joan of Arc, and Saint Anne. Between 1968 and 1995, these figures transmitted over 300 comprehensive messages for "these latter days" through "the seer named by heaven." Like Alexandrina Maria da Costa, Veronica is considered a "victim soul."
On June 6, 1968, the day of Robert Kennedy's assassination, Veronica's car filled up with "a heavy perfume of roses" when she responded to a radio appeal for prayers for the Senator. Months later, St. Theresa the Little Flower--who once threatened to let fall a shower of roses from heaven after her death--appeared to Veronica and her son, dictating "poem messages" or Occulations from Heaven. Veronica then had a vision of Christ's head while pushing a shopping cart along a boulevard.
Veronica began recording her visions and selling the resulting cassettes. Leagues of devotees flocked to her church in Brooklyn, until they had to relocate the droves to the site of the 1964 World's Fair. There she had many public visions, during which she would "slip into a trance and repeat the Virgin's words into a public address system powered by a car battery."
TRANSCRIPTS AND TRANSCRIPTS OF VISIONS
There are lengthy transcripts and audio recordings of Veronica's visions available on the internet. They are long and poetic and condemnatory. Also on the internet: a great deal of skepticism about the authenticity of her visions, which included prophesies of hell-sent UFOs or flying saucers, the Antichrist, and a gothic Mary robed in black. She had visions of a comet that would engulf the world in fire by the year 2000, unless there was a sweeping return to traditional values. She said "Many shall die in the cruel flames of the Ball of Redemption!"
Veronica's body has been likened to an "ongoing furnace of pain." (Author's note: this is the second time I've seen a victim soul's possessions likened to a furnace; Alexandrina's "life" was a "furnace of excruciating agony"). You can read a "not exhaustive" listing of her ailments and sufferings, also known as the "major markers in her arduous journey of immolation."
Each Lenten season, Veronica would relive (again, like Alexandrina) the "slaughter of the divine lamb." In 1971, she experienced the stigmata, developing wounds on her hands, feet, and brow. Her foot sores--on her insteps--were shaped like crosses. Like Saint Rita, she developed a single puncture wound in her forehead that appeared to be made from a thorn.