fem. proper name, French Veronique, a variant of Greek Berenike (see Berenice). The popular "Saint Veronica" (not in the Roman Martyrology) traditionally was a pious woman who wiped the face of Christ when he fell carrying the cross to Calvary. The image of his face remained on the cloth, and the "veil of Veronica" has been preserved in Rome from the 8c. Her popularity rose with the propagation of the Stations of the Cross, and this connection led to the folk-etymology derivation of the name from Latin vera "true" + Greek eikon "image." Some also identified her with the woman with the issue of blood, cured by Christ, as in the East this woman was identified from an early date by the name Berenike. Hence vernicle (mid-14c.) "picture of the face of Christ," from Old French veronicle, variant of veronique "St. Veronica's cloth."