Monday, February 25, 2013

The Shroud of Turin: 2.6. The other marks (1): Burns and water stains

This post "2.6. The other marks (1): Burns and water stains" is part 12 of my series, "The Shroud of Turin." As the title indicates, it is about the burn marks from the 1532 fire and water stains from putting out that fire. The previous post was part 11, "2.5. The bloodstains." The series was originally titled, "The Shroud of Jesus?" but I have changed it to "The Shroud of Turin" so that posts in the series are more easily found by a search engine. For further information about this series, see the Contents page (part 1).

© Stephen E. Jones

By "other marks" is meant those significant marks on the Shroud of Turin which are not wounds (see "2.4. The wounds") or bloodstains (see "2.5. The Bloodstains"). They are considered below in the order of most to least obvious (not the most to least important).

Burns The most obvious[1] (and no doubt most puzzling to a newcomer to the Shroud) marks on the Shroud are burns from a fire in 1532[2]. A copy of the Shroud painted in 1516 which is held in the Church of St. Gommare, Lierre, Belgium, does not show these burns[3].

[Right: Burns to the Shroud from the 1532 fire (outlined in green): Shroud Scope: Durante 2002 Vertical: Overlays: Burn Holes (1532 A.D.)]

Since 1502 [4] the Shroud had been kept within a silver casket[5], behind an iron grille[6] secured by four locks[7], and set into a wall of the Savoy royal family's Sainte-Chapelle (Holy Chapel) at Chambéry, France[8].

[Above: Sainte-Chapelle, Chambéry, France: Wikipedia.]

On the night of 4 December 1532 a fire broke out in the chapel [9], but the grille's four locks required four different keys: two held by the Duke of Savoy, one by the Duke's counsellor Canon Philibert Lambert[10], and one by the President of the Treasury [11]. As the Shroud would have been destroyed by the time the other keyholders arrived with their keys[12], the Duke's blacksmith[13], Guillaume Pussod, was summoned to force open the grille[14]. If it were not for the courage and strength of this unsung hero the Shroud would have been destroyed[15]. So intense was the heat that the Shroud's silver casket had started to melt[16] but Pussod forced open the grille[17], and with the help of Lambert and two priests, carried the casket to safety[18]. However, a piece of molten silver from the casket's lid fell into the casket[19] and set fire to one edge of the Shroud[20]. After pouring buckets of water into the casket the fire was put out [21]. But it was found that the piece of molten silver had burned itself through one edge of all forty-eight layers[22] in which the Shroud had evidently been folded[23]. Miraculously, however, the image, except for the front shoulders and upper arms[24], was not affected[25].

[Above: Interior of the Sainte-Chapelle, Chambéry as it is today. The hole in the wall (see inset) where the Shroud was kept in a silver casket behind an iron grille from 1502 to 1532, is behind the altar to the left[26].]

And as we shall see in "6.Science and the Shroud," the intense heat generated by the fire, estimated to have been between 200° to 300°C inside the casket[27], and the superheated steam generated by dousing with water the molten silver within the close confines of the Shroud's casket[28], formed a "natural experiment"[29] which provides further evidence that the Shroud image is not a painting[30] nor is it a bas relief or statue powder rubbbing[31] because the image did not run, migrate[32] or change colour as any medieval paint, pigment, dye or powder would have under that very high temperature[33]. This therefore is another problem for the forgery theory[§10].

In 1534, to stabilise the damage to the Shroud, it was sent to Chambéry's convent of Poor Clare nuns[34] where four nuns sewed linen patches over the burns[35] and added a Holland cloth backing[36]. It wasn't until 2002 that the patches and Holland cloth were removed[37] as part of a restoration of the Shroud[38].

Water stains After the burn marks the most prominent marks on the Shroud are water stains[39]. These are from the water poured onto the burning Shroud in its casket on the night of the 1532 fire[21] (see above). Iron oxide particles from the retting process of making flax were found to have migrated to the edges of the water stains[40] but no paint, pigment, dye or powder did[41]. So this is yet another problem for the forgery theory[§11].

[Above: Two sets of three repeating water stains on the Shroud (e.g. the oval shape between the front and back head images is a water stain as is the diamond shape below the man's chest.): Shroud Scope: Durante 2002 Vertical]

1. Ruffin, C.B., 1999, "The Shroud of Turin: The Most Up-To-Date Analysis of All the Facts Regarding the Church's Controversial Relic," Our Sunday Visitor: Huntington IN, pp.11-12. [return]
2. Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?," Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, p.24. [return]
3. Wilson, 1979, p.25. [return]
4. Wilson, 1979, p.218. [return]
5. Wilson, I., 1986, "The Evidence of the Shroud," Guild Publishing: London, p.2. [return]
6. Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, p.22. [return]
7. Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, p.65. [return]
8. Ruffin, 1999, p.67. [return]
9. Wilson, 1979, p.24. [return]
10. Oxley, M., 2010, "The Challenge of the Shroud: History, Science and the Shroud of Turin," AuthorHouse: Milton Keynes UK, p.4. [return]
11. Crispino, D., 1982, "The Report of the Poor Clare Nuns," Shroud Spectrum International, March, p.19.[return]
12. Wilson, 1986, p.2. [return]
13. Rinaldi, P.M., 1978, "The Man in the Shroud," Futura: London, Revised, p.20. [return]
14. Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, p.64. [return]
15. Wilson, 1986, p.2. [return]
16. Wilson, 1986, p.2. [return]
17. Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, p.253. [return]
18. Wilson, 1979, p.24. [return]
19. Wilson, 2101, p.14. [return]
20. Wilson, 1979, p.24. [return]
21. Rinaldi, 1978, p.20. [return]
22. Wilson, 1979, p.24. [return]
23. Wilson, 1986, p.2. [return]
24. Wilson, 1998, pp.22-23. [return]
25. Wilson, 1979, p.24. [return]
26. Moretto, G., 1999, "The Shroud: A Guide," Paulist Press: Mahwah NJ, p.19. [return]
27. Culliton, B.J., 1978, "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin Challenges 20th-Century Science," Science, Vol. 201, 21 July, p.236. [return]
28. Wilson, 1991, p.176. [return]
29. Antonacci, M., 2000, "Resurrection of the Shroud: New Scientific, Medical, and Archeological Evidence," M. Evans & Co: New York NY, pp.48 [return]
30. Antonacci, 2000, pp.48. [return]
31. Antonacci, 2000, pp.73-74. [return]
32. Antonacci, 2000, p.48. [return]
33. Heller, J.H., 1983, "Report on the Shroud of Turin," Houghton Mifflin Co: Boston MA, pp.85-86. [return]
34. Wilson, 1979, p.24. [return]
35. Wilson, 1979, p.24. [return]
36. Wilson, 1979, p.24. [return]
37. Wilson, 2010, p.15. [return]
38. Wilson, 2010, pp.14-15. [return]
39. Rinaldi, 1978, p.2. [return]
40. Scavone, D.C., 1989, "The Shroud of Turin: Opposing Viewpoints," Greenhaven Press: San Diego CA, pp.60-61. [return]
41. Antonacci, 2000, p.48. [return]
§10, §11. To be further examined under "9. Problems of the forgery theory". [return]

Continued in part 13, "2.6. The other marks (2): Poker holes."

Last updated: 15 July, 2013.


Stephen E. Jones said...


>There are various opinions and researches of the shroud of Turin.

That is a truism, i.e. "... a claim that is so obvious or self-evident as to be hardly worth mentioning ..." ("Truism," Wikipedia, 27 February 2013).

>Some people say that it is the genuine and some that it is the fake and the hoax.

Another truism, except you should have added "...and some don't say anything about it" to cover the entire range of possibilities!

>The fact is that the shroud of Turin doesn't present Jesus of the Bible.

The fact is that you are WRONG on that. As I shall demonstrate when I get to "3. The Bible and the Shroud" which should be in the near future.

>If we can find even one evidence, which disprove the shroud of Turin theory, so the whole story shall be invalidated.

Another truism. OBVIOUSLY if the Shroud of Turin were "disprove[d]" then it would have been "invalidated"!

>We can find a large number of evidence from the Bible, which show that the shroud of Turin cannot be the shroud of the Lord Jesus.

Again you are WRONG. There is NOTHING in the Bible which shows that the Shroud of Turin is not the burial sheet of Jesus.

Indeed, the image of a naked crucified man on the Shroud of Turin is so CLOSELY COMPLEMENTARY to the Gospel accounts of Jesus' passion, death, burial and resurrection, that the Shroud has been aptly called "the fifth Gospel":

"Is this remarkable cloth-with its clearly visible images of a man who was scourged mercilessly, humiliated by a crown of thorns, forced to bear his own cross, and finally crucified and gashed in his side to assure his death, all in accord with the Gospel descriptions of the Holy Passion-is this yellowed cloth the true burial shroud of Jesus Christ? ... If it is authentic, the Holy Shroud is unquestionably the greatest religious relic known to Christianity and one of the most fascinating antiquities known to mankind. If it is authentic, THE SHROUD CAN RIGHTFULLY TAKE ITS PLACE AS `THE FIFTH GOSPEL,' for what it reveals of Jesus and his suffering far exceeds the scant Gospel words of the evangelists. If it is authentic, and if no completely satisfactory natural explanation can account for its unusual physical properties, then the Shroud is indeed the most miraculous of Holy Miracles-an enduring, self-made portrait of the man who would be called Savior by millions of Christians throughout the world. ?" (Humber, T., "The Fifth Gospel: The Miracle of the Holy Shroud," 1974, pp.11-12. My emphasis).

But since comments on the topic of whether or not `the Shroud of Turin presents Jesus of the Bible' is off-topic under this post about "Burns and water stains" on the Shroud, it is your last comment under this post.

If you want to comment further on this topic then do so when I begin posting on "3. The Bible and the Shroud" which, as I said, should be in the near future.

Stephen E. Jones
Comments are moderated. Those I consider off-topic, offensive or sub-standard will not appear. I reserve the right to respond to any comment as a separate blog post.

Anonymous said...

Stephen you need to see this a hologram photo has been processed from the back second face of the Shroud

Stephen E. Jones said...


>Stephen you need to see this a hologram photo has been processed from the back second face of the Shroud

Thanks. There has been some recent comments about the "second face" on the underside (which was the top side) of the Shroud under my post, "New tests by Prof. Giulio Fanti show the Shroud of Turin could date from the time of Christ."

As I commented there:

"I have been advised that this `second image' may not be actually there, in a confidential email by a Shroud scientist, therefore I will look into it when I get to that part of my series, probably "8. Major features of the Shroud's Image."

"Although there is a photo of it on one of Dan Porter's pages: `What is the second face and what does it mean?'".

Stephen E. Jones