The history of the Turin shroud of Jesus is very well documented from the year 1357 when the Shroud was brought to Lirey, a small village in France by Geoffrey de Charny, a French nobleman. It is the history before 1357 that is not well documented, but is based on a series of well-known facts.
There was a big controversy regarding the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin when the 1988 Carbon dating of the Shroud dated the Shroud between the years 1260 and 1390. Since this matched exactly the period when the Shroud first appeared in Lirey in France, the skeptics of the Shroud had a field day. But later it was proved that the Carbon dating was not correct since the stamp sized samples tested were taken from the repaired corners of the shroud. ……..More from our page on Carbon Dating.
Ancient Shroud of Turin history
The ancient history of the Shroud of Turin starts with King Abgar of Edessa. Edessa is now called ‘Urfa’ in Turkey and then was the capital of the Kingdom of Osrhoene, an ancient kingdom that was located in an area between the borders of present day Syria and Turkey. Osroene was the world’s first State to make Christianity the state religion.
King Abgar V of Edessa was suffering from the deadly disease of leprosy, and in the year AD 30 sent a letter to Jesus requesting him to visit Edessa and cure him. Jesus replied that he could not come himself, but would send one of his apostles. Not long after this exchange of letters, Jesus was crucified, entombed and rose again from the dead. As promised by Jesus, one of his apostles by the name Thaddeus went to Edessa in AD 30 and carried with him the burial cloth of Jesus on which a miraculous image had formed at the time of his resurrection. King Abgar was miraculously cured as soon as he received the burial cloth of Jesus, packed as a Mandylion.
The Mandylion is described by Mr. Ian Wilson, one of the world’s most respected Shroud scholar and author, in his book ‘The Shroud of Turin”. He says that when Jesus burial Shroud was taken to King Abgar, The cloth was referred to as a ‘Tetradiplon’, with the meaning that the Shroud was folded into eight equal sections in such a way that only the face of Jesus on cloth was showing on one of the flat surfaces of the Shroud. The painting here depicts King Abgar receiving the Tetradiplon folded Shroud. The whole Shroud was then placed in a cloth bag with a hole just big enough to show only the face of Jesus. This bag with the Shroud inside it came to be known as the ‘Mandylion’. There are paintings which are in existence today showing King Abgar with the Mandylion.
Edessa remained a Christian State until the death of King Abgar in 55 AD. In 57 AD, the new King of Edessa, King Ma’nu VI was antichrist and persecuted the Christians and tried to destroy all Christian artifacts including the Shroud. In order to protect the Holy Shroud, the Christians hid the Shroud Mandylion inside the wall of the city.
The Shroud stayed hidden here until its discovery almost 500 years later in 525 AD, when floods destroyed parts of the city and damaged the city walls. While the city walls were being repaired, the Shroud Mandylion was discovered hidden in the wall above the western gate of the city. At this time Edessa was in Christian hands and the Shroud, again became the most important relic and treated with the utmost respect. Many paintings were made soon after the discovery of the hidden Shroud in Edessa. These paintings came to be known as Icons, and were based on the image of Jesus on the Shroud. …..More from page “proof Shroud of Turin real”
The image on the Shroud of Turin has some very distinctive characteristics, like the eyes are not at the same level, the left eyebrow is curved higher than the right, large owlish eyes, two strands of hair falling on the forehead, etc. These distinctive features of the image on the shroud of Turin have come to be called the ‘Vignon Markings’, named after the French Professor Paul Vignon.
The ‘icons’ or paintings of Jesus which appeared after the discovery of the Shroud Mandylion, from the year 525 onwards, bore the very distinctive Vignon Markings of the Shroud of Turin. Several Icons have the Vignon Markings prominently displayed and it just cannot be coincidence. So for sure the Icon paintings of Jesus, from the year 525 onwards are based on the Shroud of Turin image, and proves conclusively that the shroud of Turin is much older than the year 1260 to 1390 dates obtained by Carbon dating of the Shroud of Turin.
The Shroud Mandylion stayed in Edessa till about the year 944. Edessa by this time was in the hands of Muslim rulers, and they considered the Shroud Mandylion as their greatest treasure. The Christian Emperor of the Byzantine Empire (Eastern Roman Empire) Romanus I, who ruled from Constantinople (now Istanbul), wanted the greatest Christian relic, the Shroud Mandylion, but the Muslim rulers of Edessa refused to hand it over. So a war ensued with the army from Constantinople surrounding Edessa and laying siege of the city for almost 6 months. Finally under the peace terms, the Shroud Mandylion was handed over and it was brought in to Constantinople with great celebrations. Special Gold coins were minted to commemorate the event. Some of these coins are there in some museums of the world.
Constantinople was attacked and occupied by the army of the fourth Crusade in 1204. The Crusaders carried away most of the Christian relics which were in the city, including the Shroud of Jesus. The were abouts of the Shroud of Jesus from this time till it surfaced in Lirey 1357, is vague, but some records in the Vatican provide evidence that the Shroud was in the possession of the Knights Templar, and that they worshiped it. Ms. Barbara Frale, who worked in the Vatican Archives library, in her book ‘The Templars and The Shroud of Christ’, says that there are records in the Vatican Archives which say that the Knights Templar had in their possession a linen cloth relic with the mysterious image of a bearded man, which she says must have been the Shroud of Jesus.
The history of the Shroud of Turin from its days in Lirey from 1357 to now is well documented. In 1453, the widow of Geoffrey de Charny, Margaret de Charny gifted the Shroud to the House of Savoy the rulers of Turin at that time. The Shroud has remained in Turin ever since.