Giovan Battista della Rovere ca. 1590

“So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean fine linen cloth”
Matthew 27:59 *(sindon)

Complied for the web
James A. Barrett
December 2010

Templar Have Shroud after the Fall of Constantinople 1204

Chinon Parchment – Templcombe Image – Templar Ritual

Death Certificate Imprinted on Shroud

ray Manuscript

Documentation supporting a History of the Shroud of Turin, is falling into place. Many of the new supporting pieces are coming from Dr. Barbara Frale.

Dr. Barbara Frale is a medieval specialist working in the Vatican Secret Archives as a historian. Over the last few years she has been responsible for bring to light a few new pieces to the Shroud’s historical puzzle, helping to fill in portions of the missing History.
Writing in the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, she said, the shroud's fate between the sacking of Constantinople by the Crusading (Latin) army’s in 1204 and its emergence in
1357 has always puzzled historians”. It is Dr Frale scholarly belief that the Knights Templar rescued the Shroud during the sacking of Constantinople to ensure it did not fall into the hands of heretical groups such as the Cathars, who claimed Christ did not have a human body, only the "appearance" of a man. She said to various news agencies recently that, “her discovery vindicated a theory first put forward by Ian Wilson, a British writer, in 1977”.
She has some of her earlier findings in her book,
The Templars – Secret History Revealed.

Ian Wilson 1977

*To my knowledge British historian Ian Wilson’s in 1977, was the first to outline a plausible History of the Shroud that involved the Cloth of Edessa, the Mandylion of Constantinople and the Templars.

In his theory he has the Shroud traveling from Jerusalem to Edessa in Eastern Turkey in the 1st century, (later to become known as the Edessa Cloth after 544AD).

Then it he has it taken to Constantinople in Western Turkey in 944, where it was known as the Mandylion.

(Later paintings of the Mandylion hold many similarities to the face on the Shroud.)

After the sacking of Constantinople in 1204, Wilson has it kept secretly by the Knights Templars until their downfall in 1307, when it was taken for safekeeping to Templcombe, England, after which it was returned to France in 1343 by Geoffrey de Charny, whose son Geoffrey II de Charny first displayed it at Lirey, France in 1357.

*(Wilson, 1977, "Proceedings of the 1977 United States Conference of Research on The Shroud of Turin," pp.47-49. Wilson first fully stated his Knights Templar custodians of the Shroud from 1204-1307 theory in his 1978 book, "
The Turin Shroud," pp.153-165)

The Chinon Parchment is one piece that in combination with others supports this theory.

Chinon Parchment

In 2003 Frale rediscovered her “trial of the Templars document source, known as the Chinon Parchment”, after realizing it had been wrongly cataloged in the Vatican Library. The Chinon Parchment is a historical document published by Étienne Baluze in Vitae Paparum Avenionensis ("Lives of the Popes of Avignon"), Paris, 1693.
The parchment exhibited that Pope Clement V had accepted that the Templars were guilty of "grave sins", such as corruption and sexual immorality, but had absolved the last known Grandmaster of the Templars Jacque de Molay and the rest of the Knights Templar leadership from charges of heresy brought against them by the Inquisition. Previously, historians believed that they were burnt at the stake because of the charge of heresy.
Frale has outlined in her book, The Templars – Secret History Revealed, that the documents found outline that “the Templar initiation ceremony involved spitting on the Cross, but this was to brace them for having to do so if captured by Muslim forces”.
She recently published for the first time the prayer the Knights Templar composed when "unjustly imprisoned", in which they “appealed to the Virgin Mary to persuade "our enemies" to “abandon calumnies and lies and revert to truth and charity””. Templar Researchers like her self see the Knights Templar has being “Orthodox in their Christians beliefs and practices”, but being a weird hybrid of monks and soldiers created unique rituals that bolstered both pillars of this large organization.

*(The Chinon Parchment is dated Chinon, 1308 August 17 - 20th; the Vatican keeps an authentic copy with reference number Archivum Arcis Armarium D 218, the original having the number D 217).

Another piece in the puzzle is the Templar Initiation Ritual

Initiation Ritual
Dr. Frale’s continuing study of the various trials of the Knights Templar brought to light a document in which a young Frenchman, Arnaut Sabbatier, who entered the order in 1287, testified that as part of his initiation he was taken to "a secret place to which only the brothers of the Temple had access". There he was shown "a long linen cloth on which was impressed the figure of a man and instructed to venerate the image by kissing its feet three times”. This is only 83 years after the Shroud disappeared from Constantinople in 1204, cutting in half the 153 `missing years' between 1204-1357.

Again Dr. Frale notes that the Knights Templars were an “orthodox Christian organization, one that would not commit idolatry by kissing the feet of an image, unless they believed with a high degree of certainty that it was an image of Jesus”. This is a very important piece of the puzzle.
Dr. Frale quoted on the Catholic News web site says:
“Frale said, “the Knights Templar may have kept the shroud secret because of papal orders of excommunication for anyone involved in looting relics from Constantinople or trafficking in them afterward.”

She said, “the shroud's image was particularly important for the Knights Templar, as an "antidote" to the heresies that had arisen -- especially those that affirmed that Christ was a purely spiritual being, and never really had a human body or shed human blood.” (Cathars)

The rational for this goes something like this.

Only someone or some organization possessing vast wealth would have been able to keep this priceless relic. Otherwise they would have sold it.
Additionally, this group must have had some motive for keeping it secretly to themselves.

Dr. Frale says, “The prime suspect all along has been the Order of Knights Templar, who had a great veneration for the Holy Sepulchre, and built for themselves vast fortresses so heavily guarded that they became the multinational banks and insurance organization of Europe. They were such a mysterious organization, even to the Church itself that rumors began to circulate of secret Templar ceremonies, at which some great relic was venerated, a relic which had the appearance of the face of an unidentified bearded man upon a panel. Just one clue survives to the appearance of the last Templar “idol”, a clue found in the tiny village of Templcombe in England, once the home of a Templar preceptory. During the demolition of a cottage outhouse in the 1950's there came to light this oak panel painting ... undoubtedly Templar, answering exactly the documentary descriptions of the “idol” and with the uncanny appearance of being a copy of the face on the Shroud."
This is in alignment with Ian Wilson’s theory.


These combined discoveries pushes the Shroud's existence in the historical record back to 1287 at least.

Death Certificate is imprinted on the Shroud of Turin
November 21, 2009

Found on the Shroud - letters in three languages.

Dr. Frale, who is to publish her findings in a new book, La Sindone di Gesu Nazareno (The Shroud of Jesus of Nazareth) said that the inscription provided "historical date consistent with the Gospels account". The letters, barely visible to the naked eye, were first spotted during an examination of the shroud in 1978, and others have since come to light.
Some scholars have suggested that the writing is from a reliquary attached to the cloth in medieval times. But Dr Frale said, “the text could not have been written by a medieval Christian because it did not refer to Jesus as Christ but as "the Nazarene". This would have been "heretical" in the Middle Ages since it defined Jesus as "only a man" rather than the Son of God.
Like the image of the man himself the letters are in reverse and only make sense in negative photographs”. Dr Frale told La Repubblica, “that under Jewish burial practices current at the time of Christ in a Roman colony such as Palestine, a body buried after a death sentence could only be returned to the family after a year in a common grave. A death certificate was therefore glued to the burial shroud to identify it for later retrieval, and was usually stuck to the cloth around the face. This had apparently been done in the case of Jesus even though he was buried not in a common grave but in the tomb offered by Joseph of Arimathea”.
Dr. Frale continued by saying, “that many of the letters were missing, with Jesus for example referred to as "(I)esou(s) Nnazarennos" and only the "iber" of "Tiberiou" surviving.” Her reconstruction, however, suggested that the certificate read: "In the year 16 of the reign of the Emperor Tiberius Jesus the Nazarene, taken down in the early evening after having been condemned to death by a Roman judge because he was found guilty by a Hebrew authority, is hereby sent for burial with the obligation of being consigned to his family only after one full year". It ends "signed by" but the signature has not survived”.
Dr. Frale said, “that the use of three languages was consistent with the polyglot nature of a community of Greek-speaking Jews in a Roman colony.” She said, “What she had deciphered was "the death sentence on a man called Jesus the Nazarene. If that man was also Christ the Son of God it is beyond my job to establish. I did not set out to demonstrate the truth of faith. I am a Catholic, but all my teachers have been atheists or agnostics, and the only believer among them was a Jew. I forced myself to work on this as I would have done on any other archaeological find."

Side Points:
The Times of London makes the point that it is "the Vatican" making these statements. (1) Frale works for the Vatican and (2) her account is in the Vatican's in-house newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano.

The Times of London also now regards the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud as "medieval" was flawed.]

The Guardian, Monday 6 April 2009: Turin Shroud link with Templars proved by archives, claims historian,, 6 Apr 2009:
Knights Templar worshipped the Turin Shroud,

The Hungarian Pray Manuscript

Also called the Codex Pray or Pray Codex
It is the oldest handwritten Hungarian text dating to 1192-1195
The Codex Pray, Pray Codex or The Hungarian Pray Manuscript is a collection of medieval manuscripts. In 1813 it was named after György Pray, who discovered it in 1770. It is the first known example of continuous prose text in Hungarian. The Codex is kept in the National Széchényi Library of Budapest.
One of the five illustrations within the Codex shows the burial of Jesus. Experts have found the display shows remarkable similarities with the Shroud of Turin.
1. Jesus is shown entirely naked with the arms on the pelvis, just like in the body image of the Shroud of Turin.
2. The fabric shows a herringbone pattern, identical to the weaving pattern of the Shroud of Turin.
3. The four tiny circles on the lower image, which appear to form a letter L, "perfectly reproduce four apparent "poker holes" on the Turin Shroud".
4. There are no thumbs showing in the graphic as in the Shroud of Turin.

The importance of this illustration lies in the fact, that it was produced between the years 1192-1195 AD in a region far removed from France.
This makes the Pray Codex illustration strong evidence for an existence of the Shroud of Turin prior to the date of it production 1192-1195 AD, years where it would have been a venerated object of great value in Constantinople.
In the pursuit of balance it's important to note that there are also a few significant differences between the Pray Codex and the Shroud of Turin.
(a) The man in the Shroud has a beard and mustache, while in the former, the image has neither.
(b) Also, in the Shroud of Turin image, the right palm is over the base of the left hand, while in the Pray codex, the arms intersect above the wrists.
The skeptics use these discrepancies to call into question the assertion that the Pray Codex is an illustration of the Shroud of Turin.
But the similarities are strong, especially when placed in context of the date produced and the location completed.
I find it a compelling supportive piece of circumstantial evidence in support of (1) the Shroud exiting prior to 1357 and (2) in Constantinople prior to the sacking by the Latin Crusading French and Latin forces in 1204.

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