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According to legend, Veronica pitied Jesus as he carried his cross to Calvary and offered him her kerchief, or sudarium, which miraculously retained the imprint of Jesus' face after he wiped his brow. The cloth presumed to have been Veronica's-her name means vera icon, or "true image"-is preserved as a holy relic at Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome. Facsimiles of the image were popular among pilgrims, who prayed to them fervently in hopes of reducing their time in purgatory.

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