The Antichrists of history and their doomed war against the Church, by Fr.
Joseph M. Esper, author of Spiritual Dangers of the 21st Century,
takes a fascinating look at the many historical threats against Catholicism
by those inspired by forces of evil, beginning in ancient Egyptian times,
through the Roman era, right up to and through the twentieth century to our
MYSTIC SAW SHROUD AND VEIL AS TWO DISTINCT ITEMS IN MYSTERY LIKELY TO REMAIN UNSOLVED
A few weeks ago we had an article about the Shroud of Turin and whether it was also the "Veil of Veronica."
While the Shroud shows an entire Body, the veil, of course, was just the Face.
There are those who believe that during certain periods in history, the Veil or "mandylion" was simply the Shroud folded in such a way as to show only the Face. In Spain is a "sweat cloth" they call the Sudarium with what is said to be the Blood of Christ when it was used to wrap or wipe His Face.
The Sudarium is also mentioned in the Gospel
accounts of the resurrection
of Jesus, in John 20:03: "Simon Peter, following him (the other disciple),
also came up, went into the tomb, saw the linen cloths lying on the ground,
and also the cloth that had been over his head; this was not with the linen
cloths but rolled up in a place by itself."
The Sudarium is severely soiled and crumpled, with dark flecks that are symmetrically arranged but form no image, unlike the markings on the Shroud of Turin, which has a distinct, remarkable image.
The Shroud is mentioned in accounts of the actual burial of Christ and is mentioned as having been present in the empty tomb later (John 20:7). Intriguingly, both the Shroud and the Sudarium appear to be from the same time period; both are stained with type AB blood (although old blood almost always degrades into AB); and both have been found to bear ancient pollen from Israel.
It's further interesting that in The Life of Jesus Christ and Revelations, the famed mystic and stigmatic Anne Catherine Emmerich claimed to have seen the Shroud and Veil as two different cloths during one of her (to be discerned) visions.
Describing Veronica, Emmerich wrote:
"She glanced at the outspread kerchief and beheld upon it the bloody Face of Jesus frightfully, but with wonderful distinctness, impressed. It looked like the face of a corpse. This kerchief was a strip of fine wool about three times as long as wide. The Face of Jesus was not a clean, distinct portrait, for it was impressed on the veil in blood; it was also broader than a painted likeness would have been, for Jesus had pressed the veil all around His Face.
"On the other cloth that Veronica had with her, I saw the impression of Jesus' scourged body. I think it was one of the cloths upon which Jesus had been washed for sepulcher. While all were kneeling around the Lord's body, taking leave of it with many tears, a touching miracle was exhibited before their very eyes: the entire form of Jesus' Sacred Body with all its wounds appeared, as if drawn in brown and reddish colors, on the cloth that covered it. It was as if He wished gratefully to reward their loving care of Him, gratefully to acknowledge their sorrow, and leave to them an image of Himself imprinted through all the coverings that enveloped Him.
"Reverently weeping and lamenting they embraced the Sacred Body, and reverently kissed the miraculous portrait. Their astonishment was so great that they open the outside wrapping, and it became still greater when they found all the linen bands around the Sacred Body white as before and only the uppermost cloth marked with the Lord's figure. Once a dispute arose about it, and for its settlement, the holy winding sheet was thrown into the fire, but rising miraculously above the flames, it flew into the hands of the Christians."
As for the Shroud dating: recent tests continue to refute the attempt by atheist scientists to claim (via radiocarbon dating) that the Shroud is only 600 years old (and thus a medieval "forgery"). Instead, the most recent information indicates it's as old as it should be: about two millennia. The radiocarbon dating was found to be suspect because the Shroud has been through fires (which skew carbon content) and also has been repaired -- stitched with pieces of newer, replacement cloth -- through the centuries.
Some things are meant to remain mysteries.
Noted another viewer: "Essentially, the dates the labs came up with during radiocarbon dating failed a basic 'chi' squared test (a test to see if the results are statistically significant). That indicates an issue with either the sample or the method (but doesn't let us know what the issue is).
"The vanillin test is the one I find very interesting. Vanillin also decomposes with time and testing for it is nondestructive (unlike carbon dating). [One scientist, Raymond] Rogers found that the section of the cloth the carbon dating sample came from has vanillin still while the section of the cloth with the Image does not have vanillin remaining. That means the section the sample was taken from has at least some younger material (supporting the idea of a repair in the area). Using vanillin kinetics, he estimated the image part of the Shroud is between 1,300 and 3,000 years old. I don't think science will ever prove anything with the shroud because you would have to test a portion of the cloth with the Image, and that's not going to happen."
Of course, even if such skeptics could prove it isn't 2,000 years old, they would still be at an utter loss to explain how the image -- which is like a negative of a photographic negative (it clearly showed up only after invention of the camera!) -- could have been inflected on the cloth to start with; they also would have to explain the blood on it as well as the spores and pollen that perfectly match ancient Jerusalem (and only there).
[resources: The Life and Revelations of Anne Catherine Emmerich]
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