This painting got my attention today when I saw it in the National Gallery of Art. Domenico Fetti painted “The Veil of Veronica” around 1618. Fetti was in Rome in 1606 when the Veil of Veronica, one of the oldest and most venerated relics in Christendom, was installed in the crossing of St. Peter's Basilica. According to medieval legend, the veil belonged to a woman who took pity on Christ as he toiled with his burden of the cross to Golgotha. She gave Christ her kerchief to wipe his brow, and when he returned the cloth, his image miraculously had been impressed upon it. This kerchief was believed to have been preserved as the relic called the "true image" or, in Latin, vera icon . In time, these words combined to form "Veronica," the name given by legend to the compassionate woman at Golgotha. The image is now kept in a remote monastery in Manoppello, Italy where Pope Benedict XVI visited to see it 2006. It’s interesting to note that when the first photo negatives were taken of the Shroud of Turin in 1898, the injuries to the nose on the face appearing on the shroud match up with the injuries which appear on the veil. We won’t know for sure what Christ looks like until we get to Heaven but Domenico Fetti did a masterful job capturing the anguish on the face of the man which might have been Christ on his way to the Cross.