April 06, 2009
A remarkable article in the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano has traced the Shroud of Turin to the Knights Templar. Historian Barbara Frale reports that the Knights kept the Shroud after the Crusades, and new members venerated (not "worshipped," as the Telegraph headline inaccurately says) the cloth as part of their initiation ceremonies. The Knights Templar-- one of the earliest and most powerful military orders in the Catholic world-- were suppressed in the early 14th century; their history remains riddled with legends and controversies. Among the rumors circulated against the Knights Templar by their enemies was the tale that they worshipped a bearded man. Although that story could be taken as a reference to the image on the Shroud, the image of a face on the cloth did not clearly appear until it was shown by a photographic negative several centuries after the Knights Templar were suppressed.
The history of the Shroud of Turin is also surrounded by both mystery and controversy. The
Source(s): these links will take you to other sites, in a new window.
- Knights Templar worshipped the Turin Shroud (Daily Telegraph)
- Knights Templar hid the Shroud of Turin, says Vatican (Times)