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The most characteristic form of acheiropoietos, however, is the holy cloth. Veronica stepped forward to wipe the sweat from Jesus' brow as he stumbled toward Calvary, and her towel already transformed into a relic through that holy contact miraculously retained the image of Jesus' face.Known as Veronica's Veil, the relic became one of the most famous acheiropoietai of the Middle Ages.* Another such cloth image (also generated by perspiration) was produced on the night of the betrayal, as Jesus prayed intently at Gethsemane.A contemporary model will help us understand this culture in which the blood and gore of Jesus' death carried intense spiritual power.Although Emperor Constantine outlawed crucifixion in 315 AD, the practice as a form of piety-was never com-pletely abandoned.This is the catch-22 that sindonologists fail to appreciate: For the shroud to be the shroud, it more or less has to look the way it looks.
D., no one has been able to account for the shadowy image of a naked 6-foot-tall man that appears on the shroud.And then there is the Shroud of Turin, seemingly produced by blood, blood plasma and sweat absorbed from Jesus' dead body at the time of entombment (see box, p. Several reputed examples of each of these holy-iconcloths have surfaced over the centuries.At least three dozen cloths have been identified as Veronica's Veil, the Holy Shroud, and the like.And these, unlike icons, can only be one of a kind. It was manufactured at a time, in western Europe especially, when relics meant pilgrimage and pilgrimage meant money.The competition for both, among rival cities and towns, was intense.
Alan Whanger - Previously unpublished response to the article When the Shroud of Turin went on display this spring for the first time in 20 years, it made the cover of Time magazine with the blurb "Is this Jesus?