Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sacred relic rediscovered in Coventry

    The Veil of Veronica is one of most sacred relics of the Catholic Church. Second only to the Turin shroud in importance, it was reputedly created when Saint Veronica encountered Jesus when he was on his way to crucifixion. Saint Veronica used her veil to wipe sweat from the face of Jesus. His face was imprinted on her veil and so it became a treasured relic.

    The Veronica was brought to Europe by King Henri IV of France following the 4th Crusade. He entrusted it to the Abbey of Poitiers which for many years was a major site of pilgrimage - almost equalling Santiago de Compostella in numbers of pilgrims. However it was seized by King Edward III in 1356 following his decisive victory over the French at the battle of Poitiers and it was taken to England,

    The Veronica was presented to the monks of Walsingham Priory in Norfolk where again it became a major attraction for pilgrims. However, it was lost during the dissolution of the English monasteries and its location, if it still existed, has remained a mystery. Until now that is

    Two months ago Rose McCarthy
    visited a car boot sale in Stourbridge where she found an antique Coalport figurine at a bargain price. When she got home she discovered that the seller had used a piece of old linen to wrap the figurine. On a whim she decided to give it a clean – linen is not cheap after all and it may come in handy, she thought.

    It was only after she washed it that she saw an unusual brown stain, which shows what seem to be the facial features of a long-haired, bearded man.

    “When I took it out I could not believe it. I could see it was Jesus straightaway. I took it to my husband and he agreed with me, “she said. I am Catholic but I am not extremely religious we don't go to mass every weekend but after finding this it has definitely made my faith stronger.'”

    An initial study by Roland Felcher, Professor of Mediaeval studies at the University of Northampton, indicates that the linen is of great antiquity and may well date back to the first century AD. Since this announcement the McCarthy family home has been besieged by pilgrims.

    The Catholic Church has not made any announcement of the Veronica’s authenticity. “At present we have no view on whether this article is a genuine representation of the face of Christ or not” said a spokesman for the Suffragan Bishop of Yardley.

    Well there you have it... I’m sure you all missed your tales of simulacra.. .Even when I make up 95% of the story!

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