First there is Simon to be met and embraced. The six foot rule does not count here, but we wish with all of our being it was not so for us. We are pretty much never ready for Simon. Simon it appears was having a good day. He was back to the city from the country. Walking along when suddenly his life changed. He was grabbed by Roman soldiers and brought to a badly beaten, blood soaked wreck of a man stretched out on the road surrounded by a bloodthirsty mob. His first thought must have been, why me Simon? What have I done to be forced into this ugly horrendous situation? They want me to carry that wooden beam to Calvary so that crucifixion can take place. I better do what these Romans want. They really want this man to suffer. So reluctantly he followed the Suffering One to the place of crucifixion, and death. Simon left that place a changed man.
Now we get to meet Veronica. Veronica was in the crowd. How she got there we do not know. What we do know is she saw the terrible features of The Suffering Carpenter and was moved to compassionate action. She moved towards this so called criminal and wiped His face. Where did she get the courage to move away from this hate-filled crowd and minister to the object of their hate? What was the sufferings she endured that did not harden her, as it happens in so many cases, but gave her the strength of character to risk hostility so as to what was needed. Veronica knew the depths of pain, loss and crucifixion but out of all the horrors of her life she was moved to do what she did. She would have met pain and suffering long before she encountered it physically incarnate right before her eyes.