The statue of St Veronica was carved by Francesco Mochi (1580-1654) between 1629 and 1640.
St Veronica, according to the apocryphal gospel of Nicodemus, was the woman who wiped the sweat off the face of Jesus as he made his way to Calvary. An imprint of Christ's face remained on the cloth, which came to be known as Veronica's veil. What is purported to be the veil is kept in the basilica.
Above the statue of St Veronica is a loggia, one of the four that Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) designed to house the basilica's sacred relics. Each loggia is adorned with two ancient Solomonic columns decorated with vine leaves, which were once part of the old basilica. The back walls bear bas-reliefs illustrating each of the relics.
It was under the south-west pier that Pope Julius II (r. 1503-13) laid the foundation stone of the new basilica on April 18th 1506.