There is no reference to the story of Veronica and her veil in the canonical Gospels. The closest written reference is the miracle of Jesus healing the bleeding woman by touching the hem of Jesus' garment (Luke 8:43–48); her name is later identified as Veronica by the apocryphal "Acts of Pilate". The story was later elaborated in the 11th century by adding that Christ gave her a portrait of himself on a cloth, with which she later cured Tiberius. The linking of this with the bearing of the cross in the Passion, and the miraculous appearance of the image was made by
Roger d'Argenteuil's Bible in French in the 13th century, and gained further popularity following the internationally popular work Meditations on the Life of Christ of about 1300. It is also at this point that other depictions of the image change to include a crown of thorns, blood, and the expression of a man in pain, and the image became very common throughout Catholic Europe, forming part of the Arma Christi, and with the meeting of Jesus and Veronica becoming one of the Stations of the Cross.
On the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem there is a small chapel, known as the Chapel of the Holy Face. Traditionally, this is regarded as the home of St Veronica and site of the miracle.
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the name "Veronica" is a colloquial portmanteau of the Latin word vera, meaning truth, and Greek icon (eikon), meaning "image"; the Veil of Veronica was therefore largely regarded in medieval times as "the true image", and the truthful representation of Jesus, preceding the Shroud of Turin.