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History of the Shroud

The Following is a brief pictoral history of the movement of the Holy Shroud from Jerusalem to Edessa (Eastern Turkey) and then to Constantinople (Western Turkey) and finally to France and Italy:

King Abgar of Edessa (circa 40 AD): Eusebuis (325 AD) relates that the Shroud was moved to Edessa in Eastern Turkey around 40 A.D. to King Abgar, a friend of Jesus. Upon seeing the Shroud, he was cured of his leprosy. The Doctrine of Addai (circa 350 AD) says it was the disciple Thaddaeus who brought the Image to Abgar to protect it from persecution. Picture compliments of Archbishop Damianos, Mt. St. Catherine's Monastery - Mt. Sinai

Shroud Map:
The basic history of the Shroud shows its origins in Jerusalem, moving to Edessa from 40 A.D. to 944 A.D. when it was rescued and brought to Constantinople. It remained there until 1204 when the Knights Templar, leading the Fourth Crusade, stole it while sacking the Christian city of Constantinople. It moved through Athens to Lirey, France, exposed by Geoffrey de Charny in 1357. It then moved to the Chapel in Chambery, France and after a fire in 1532 moved to its final home in Turin, Italy in 1578 to the Cathedral of John the Baptist where it remains today.

Edessa Walls:
After King Abgar's death, the Shroud was hidden in the Walls of Edessa during persecution. Circe 535 during the Bubonic Plague it was removed from the Walls by the Bishop likely as a solace to the people. It was noted that the Face of Jesus had long hair, beard and mustache contrary to Roman depictions in the first five centuries of Jesus as "Apollo-Like" having short hair, no mustache and beard. Within 100 years, images of Jesus modeled the Holy Shroud.

Knights Templar took the Shroud in 1204 during the sack of Constantinople where the Fourth Crusade wintered before going to Jerusalem. The Knights turned on their own Christian city and sacked it for its riches - a tragedy in history - stealing the Shroud for European royalty.

Jesus in Art in First 5 Centuries:
The Shroud was hidden in the walls of Edessa, Turkey from approx. 40 A.D. to 535 A.D. during persecution and bought out during the Bubonic Plague in the Roman Empire as a consolation to the people. The Romans, not knowing what Jesus looked like, depicted Him principally as a young man (Apollo-like) with short hair, no beard and no mustache. He was usually depicted as a Shepherd, Teacher and Healer as in these depictions before 535 A.D.

Jesus in Art after 545 A.D.:
After the Shroud was taken out from the Walls of Edessa circa 535 A.D., Byzantine artists realized Jesus has long hair, beard and moustache and images (known as Christ Pantocrator images) depicted Jesus that were faithfully modeled on the Holy Shroud.

The Shroud began to be known as the tetradiplon meaning doubled-in-four for manageability. The long 14' cloth was folded to reveal only the face. It became known also as the Image of Edessa or "Little Towel (Mandylion). In a later depiction, we see the Shroud unfolded to reveal its length and we see the face showing that the Shroud and the Mandylion (as it is called in the text), are one and the same.

The Hungarian Pray Manuscript:
This manuscript from 1192 noted the weave of the Shroud (herringbone) and contains four L-shaped burn holes which appear on the Shroud today. This is in direct contradiction to the Carbon-14 test dating the Shroud from 1260-1390. (See Shroud Evidence page for details).

Modern History:
The Shroud was moved to Lirey, France and reappeared in 1357 with a French Knight, Geoffrey de Carny. It then went to Chambery where a fire in 1532 damaged the Shroud. It was moved in 1578 to the Cathedral of John the Baptist in Turin under the Kings of Savoy and remains there today. Photo of Burn Holes by Barrie Schwortz - Official Shroud Photographer

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