Saint veronica

The first-century saint who went viral

Earlier this year, Saint Veronica went viral. A tweet observing that every painting of the saint made her look like a merchandise seller at the Crucifixion was liked more than 35,000 times and retweeted more than 6,700 times. Not bad for a first-century saint. I disagree slightly. Veronica doesn’t strike me so much as a proto T-shirt tout, more as an early Christian super-fan. ‘I touched the hem of his garment.’ ‘Yeah? Well, I literally mopped the sweat from his brow.’ The Sudarium of Saint Veronica is one of art history’s more peculiar subjects. While some saints and their attributes are easy to confuse (Tau? Sword? Saw? Tongs?), if there’s