Sudarium of Oviedo

The Sudarium of Oviedo, or Shroud of Oviedo, is a bloodstained cloth, measuring c. 84 x 53 cm, kept in the "Camara Santa" of the Cathedral of San Salvador, Oviedo, Spain. This small chapel was built specifically for the cloth by King Alfonso II of Asturias in AD 840. The Sudarium (Latin = "sweat cloth") is claimed to be the cloth that was wrapped around the head of Jesus of Nazareth after he died. It is displayed to the public three times a year: Good Friday, the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross on 14 September, and its octave on 21 September.

Facts and hypotheses

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. It is not mentioned in accounts of the actual burial of Christ, but is mentioned as having been present in the empty tomb later.

According to believers, the Sudarium and the Shroud took different routes. There is no reference of the Sudarium for the first several hundred years after the Crucifixion, until its mention in 570 in an account by Antoninus of Piacenza, who wrote that the Sudarium was being cared for in a cave near the monastery of Saint Mark, in the vicinity of Jerusalem.

The Sudarium was apparently taken from Palestine in 614, after the invasion of the Byzantine provinces by the Sassanide Persian King Chosroes II, was carried through northern Africa in 616 and arrived in Spain shortly thereafter.

The cloth has been dated to the 7th century by the radio carbon method (Baima Bollone (1994), Book of Acts of the 1st International Congress on the Sudarium of Oviedo, 428-429). However, Bollone indicates that the determination is quite unreliable and other indications must be considered as well.

Many of the stains on the Sudarium match those on the head portion of the Shroud. Though the Shroud had been carbon-dated (1988) to the 14th century, subsequent studies in 2005 suggest that the segment of the cloth used in the 1988 carbon dating may have been from a patch repaired during the Middle Agescitation needed Many believe that both cloths covered the same man. In 1998, blood tests done on both the Sudarium and the Shroud confirmed that the blood stains on both cloths were of the same type: AB, a common blood type among Middle Eastern people but fairly rare among medieval Europeans.

Skeptics point out that the match with the Shroud is based on a polarized image overlay technique, the results of which are regarded by some scientists as subjective and unreliable. The most important physical evidence of a connection between the two relics is that the material of the cloth is identical, although there are differences in the manner of weaving.

In the work "Asarim", by Marisa Vallejo, the Sudarium is described as a turban.

ee also

*Relics attributed to Jesus
*Empty tomb
*Shroud of Turin

References

* [http://www.frtommylane.com/homilies/pilgrimage/sudarium.htm Viewing information]
* [http://www.shroud.com/guscin.htm The Sudarium of Oviedo: Its History and Relationship to the Shroud of Turin]
* [http://www.shroudstory.com/faq-sudarium.htm The Sudarium of Oviedo and what it Suggests about the Shroud of Turin]
* [http://www.skepticalspectacle.com/history04.htm The Sudarium of Oviedo at Skeptical Spectacle]
*"Decoding the Past: Relics of the Passion", 2005 History Channel video documentary
* [http://www.shroud.com/heraseng.pdf "Comparative Study of the Sudarium of Oviedo and the Shroud of Turin", 1998, paper presented at the "III Congresso Internazionale di Studi Sulla Sindone" in Turin.] *


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