The Veil of Veronica
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By Gertrud von Le Fort
The Veil of Veronica, first published in English in 1931, is both brilliant novel and compelling confession of faith. The story is that of Veronica: a young, motherless German girl living with her aristocratic grandmother and her religious aunt in the heart of the Eternal City. Veronica is poised between the pagan and Christian worlds, torn between zeal for life and the call of grace. In her account of Veronica’s coming-of-age and conversion experience, von Le Fort presents a vision of the interplay of nature and grace that possesses monumental strength, emotional integrity, and tremendous poignancy.
Lyrical and deeply moving, The Veil of Veronica is a stunning debut work: its spirit prodigious; its appeal undeniable; and its characters unforgettable.
Grace is not force but freedom. Man is forced into life and he is forced into death, and at almost all points between these two, he is in bondage to this or to that. Only to God alone, is no one forced, here God has given the human soul entire freedom.
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Gertrud von Le Fort (1876–1971) was a German novelist, poet, and essayist. A convert to Roman Catholicism, Le Fort focused her writings on the rich beauty and complexity of faith and transcendence. Her work was widely and critically appreciated: Le Fort received a nomination (from Hermann Hesse) for the Nobel Prize in Literature and was was awarded the Gottfried-Keller Prize in 1952.