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The Edessa cloth

In 30 ad , King Abgar of Edessa, a city 400 miles north of Jerusalem, had heard of the miraculous power of Jesus, the King suffering from an ailment sent word to Jesus that he would like to meet Him, word was sent to the King that Jesus could not meet him at that time but he would send a disciple at a latter date.

Historian Eusebius wrote that a cloth bearing the image of Jesus was taken to the King after the death of Jesus, the King was healed and in gratitude the Abgar hung a replica of the image of Jesus over the city gate with these words, "Christ the God, he who hopes in you is never disappointed",The news and fame of this image bearing cloth spread far and wide because of Edessa being a major trade route between the far east and the Roman empire.

After the death of King Abgar, a pagan king came to power and persecuted the Christians, the cloth was hidden in the walls of the city. Around the year 544 A.D. a flood opened the walls of Edessa and the cloth image was rediscovered, it is about this time that the artistic images of Jesus all become very similar from that part of the world With the Persian conquest of the city in the 6th century, the cloth is once again hidden until 944 A.D. when a army from the Eastern Roman empire takes it from Edessa and brings it to Constantinople, in the 13th century Constantinople was sacked by crusaders and many treasures and relics were carried away to western Europe

In 1357 , Geoffrey II de Charny displayed the Shroud in a church in Lirey, France,as the burial shroud of Christ

In 1389, Bishop Pierre D'Arcis of Troyes charged, in a memorandum to Pope Clement VII, that the Shroud was a forgery. He states that his predecessor, Bishop Henri of Poitiers has determined that the Shroud was a forgery because the image was not mentioned in the Gospels, that an investigation by Bishop Henri showed it to be a cunning painting, and that an unnamed artist had confessed.  No evidence is presented, the forger is not named, and there is no other evidence that Bishop Henri ever investigated the Shroud's authenticity.

Margaret de Charny, deeded the Shroud to the House of Savoy in 1453.

As a result of Pope Sixtus IV acknowledging his personal belief that the Shroud is the real burial cloth of Jesus, the Savoy family built a special chapel for the Shroud in Chambery, France in 1464. In 1532, a fire in the chapel of Chambery Castle, where the Shroud was kept, damaged the Shroud. Molten silver from the reliquary that contained the Shroud and water used to extinguish the fire caused permanent damage to the cloth. Two scorch lines, each with four large scorch marks, are the most visible damage caused by the fire (see small picture above). The image on the Shroud was not seriously damaged and the cloth was rewoven and patched by the Poor Clare Nuns. This fire is significant not only for the permanent damage caused to the Shroud but for its effects on modern day scientific investigation. It is quite possible that the intense heat of the fire, hot enough to melt silver, along with water used to douse the fire, caused chemical reactions that distorted carbon 14 testing in 1988.

   The Savoys moved the Shroud to Turin, Italy in 1578 so that a certain Cardinal Charles Borromoe, who had decided on a pilgrimage by foot to see the Shroud, would be saved from a journey over the Swiss Alps. Except for being hidden during World War II in the Abbey of Montevergine in Avellino, Italy, the Shroud has remained in Turin.

Umberto II of Savoy, who was deposed as the king of Italy in 1946, died in 1986 and bequeathed the Shroud to John Paul II and his successors, thus ending over four centuries of control of the Shroud by the House of Savoy. 

In 1997, fire broke out in the dome of Saint John the Baptist Cathedral in Turin. Firefighters saved the Shroud by breaking the glass of its bullet proof outer container and removing it from the cathedral. The Shroud was not damaged in any way.

  The most significant event took place in 1898. The Shroud was photographed, and the world discovered, that the image seemed to be a photographic negative. The world took notice and a century of discovery began.

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King Agbar coin