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Saint Veronica by Francesco Mochi

Saint veronica

Saint Veronica by Francesco Mochi

Saint Veronica by Francesco Mochi was created for one of the niches at the crossing of St. Peter’s Basilica. This statue of the frantic Saint Veronica displaying the Veil of Veronica is one of the four larger-than-life sculptures which frame the Baldacchino in the transept of St. Peter’s Basilica. Each statue depicts a venerated relic, which at the time, was the property of the Pope and St. Peters. The figure of Saint Veronica was created to honour the relic of The Veil of Veronica.

The Veil of Veronica known in Italian as the Volto Santo or Holy Face is a Christian relic of a piece of cloth which, according to tradition, bears the likeness of the face of Jesus and was not made by human hand. Various existing images have been claimed to be the “original” relic or early copies of it.

According to Church tradition, Veronica was moved with sympathy when she saw Jesus carrying his cross to Golgotha and gave him her veil, that he might wipe his forehead. Jesus accepted the offering, held it to his face, and then handed it back to her. The image of his face was miraculously impressed upon it. This piece of cloth became known as the Veil of Veronica.

The Statue of Saint Veronica is one of these four statues. The four sculptures set in the niches of the four piers supporting the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica are:

The sculptor, Francesco Mochi was an Italian Baroque sculptor active mostly in Rome and Orvieto.

St. Peter’s Basilica

The Papal Basilica of St. Peter is an Italian Renaissance church in Vatican City, which is the papal enclave within the city of Rome. St. Peter’s is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture and the largest church in the world. Catholic tradition holds that the Basilica is the burial site of Saint Peter, a leading Apostle of Jesus and the first Bishop of Rome. Saint Peter’s tomb is supposedly directly below the high altar of the Basilica.


  • St. Veronica is the renowned legendary woman who, moved by the sight of Christ carrying his cross to Golgotha, gave him her kerchief to wipe his brow, after which he handed it back imprinted with the image of his face.
  • St. Veronica, the Patron Saint of Photography

Explore Masterpieces of St. Peter’s Basilica

Saint Veronica

  • Title:                        Saint Veronica
  • Artist:                      Francesco Mochi
  • Year:                        1634
  • Materials:               Marble
  • Museum:                 St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City

Francesco Mochi

  • Name:                    Francesco Mochi
  • Born:                      1580 – Montevarchi, Italy
  • Died:                      1654 – Rome
  • Nationality:          Italian
  • Movement:           Baroque style
  • Notable works:


“There are three classes of people:
Those who see.
Those who see when they are shown.
Those who do not see.”

– Leonardo da Vinci


Photo Credit: By Use the force (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons