Christ is Risen! A TED Talk on the Shroud of Turin

Christ is risen to all my brothers and sisters here at Monomakhos! I trust you all had a spiritually profitable Lent and a joyous Feast of Feasts.

As for myself, I’ve resolved to continue my abstention from Demon Weed (at least that’s the game plan for now). Regardless, it wasn’t about “giving up” something but “getting something more”.

Well, enough of that. Since the last post was on the Holy Fire in Jerusalem, I’ve decided to post something about the Shroud of Turin. I’ve been a follower of this fascinating story since 1978, when the Vatican opened up the Shroud to scientific research. In the video below, Barrie Schwortz, a lapsed Orthodox Jew, gives a TED Talk on his experiences being the official photographer of the entire Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) from its earliest days.

Hopefully, this will stimulate some lively conversation amongst us. Enjoy!

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  1. Gail Sheppard says

    Keep making good choices, George. God is good!

    I met Berri Schwortz once at the Shroud Center of Southern California in Fountain Valley, CA. I asked him after everything he saw how he could not be a Christian. He didn’t have an answer for me although I could see he took my question seriously. I wouldn’t be surprised if he asks himself the same thing.

    The Shroud was recently in the news again.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Really? You met Barrie! Wow! I’d like to know more! He’s an engaging guy for sure. I’d like to meet him someday as well.

  2. Truly He Is Risen!

  3. Greetings, George and all – CHRIST IS RISEN!

    To start this thread, I’d like to provide a link to a special section on the website that Shroud researcher Barrie Schwortz curates,, which is the longest-running and most comprehensive online resource on the ‘Shroud of Turin’.

    My friend (and fellow ‘Shroudie’) Brian Farison and I (both members at an OCA parish) met Barrie in Cincinnati during Great Lent 2017 when he gave a presentation on the Shroud at a Catholic church near our home parish. We were able to speak with him at length afterwards, and found him to be very warm and engaging, and interested in the Orthodox Christian views on the Shroud. I later emailed to Barrie Schworz a collection of links on the Shroud from Orthodox Christian perspectives, which he posted on his site in a special section. This includes a major article by Fr Alexey Young, a video of a presentation done in 2015 by Deacon Stephen Muse (hosted by AFR), podcasts by Fr Thomas Hopko and Dr Clark Carlton, and an extensive collection of resources on the Holy Mandylion (the Image Not Made By Hands icon), compiled on the Orthodox blog ‘Full of Grace and Truth’.

    It should be noted that the image of the man on the Shroud (the Holy Mandylion, the ‘Image Not Made By Hands’) is believed by many to be the prototype for iconographic depictions of the Lord, beginning in the mid-6th century when the Holy Mandylion was uncovered in Edessa. Immediately after the uncovering of the Mandylion, an explosion of icons of the Lord spread through the Christian world, including the famous Pantocrator of St Catherine’s Monastery on Mt Sinai, and others.

    Significantly, prior to the uncovering of the Image of Edessa/Holy Mandylion in the mid-6th c. and the subsequent spread of icons based on the ‘True Likeness’, all artistic and iconographic depictions of Jesus showed him as a young, beardless man with short hair, often dressed like a Roman (i.e., wearing a toga, etc). Sometimes he was depicted carrying a sheep on his shoulders – a ‘Good Shepherd’ motif.

    Importantly, the mid-6th c. spread of images of Jesus with long hair and full beard (based on the ‘True Likeness’) extended also to coins.

    Most interesting is that recently discovered 6th c. manuscripts from St Catherine’s document how monks from the monastery were sent throughout the Christian world with depictions of the ‘True Likeness’ of Christ to serve as prototypes for icons in new churches being founded in Georgia and elsewhere.

    The ‘Vignon Markings’ * — The Facial Image on the ‘Shroud of Turin’ has 15-20 distinct features (many of which are creases or marks on the linen and not features of the Image) which were first identified by Paul Vignon (d.1943), a French art scholar and early student of the Shroud and which in early artistic pictures of Jesus:

    “These characteristics emerged starting in the sixth century, about the time that the Image of Edessa was found hidden high in a wall of the city. These are all, to some degree, found on the Shroud of Turin. The Vignon Markings, as they have come to be called, all appear on the Shroud as part of the image of the man or as anomalies in the cloth. They include:

    • Two wisps of hair in the center of the forehead.
    • Hair on one side of the head shorter than on the other side.
    • A U-shape, between the eyebrows, often square-bottomed.
    • A downward pointing triangle or V on the bridge of the nose.
    • One raised eyebrow.
    • Large round eyes.
    • Accents on both cheeks, somewhat lower on the right cheek.
    • A forked beard.
    • A gap in the beard below the lower lip.
    • An enlarged left nostril.
    • An accent line below the nose.
    • A dark line just below the lower lip.”
    (* See below for links on the Vignon Markings)

    Earlier this year I recently was able to see Dn Stephen Muse give his Shroud presentation at St Symeon Orthodox Church (OCA) in Birmingham, and can vouch for his approach to the subject. In 2017 Brian Farison and I also attended two other presentations on the Shroud, one by the lead researcher for the 1978 STURP Team, Dr John Jackson, and the other by Shroud expert Russ Breault. Their presentations only served to confirm our combined 4+ decades of study of the Shroud, and reinforce our conviction that the Shroud shows the Image of the Lord, showing His wounds from the scourging, wounds on his head from the crown (or more properly, a ‘cap’) of thorns, nail wounds in the wrists and feet, the lance wound in His right side — all of which correspond to the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ Passion and sufferings). The blood marks on the Shroud are real human blood, Type AB; there are both pre-mortem blood stains, and post-mortem (specifically the wound in the side, where the serum albumin separated from the red blood cells, pouring forth “blood and water”). And it would seem that the Image itself was made upon the linen cloth not by any chemical process, nor by any pigment, and certainly not by the process associated with decomposition of a body, but rather by a high-intensity burst of ‘Light’ from the Body (see link to the ENEA Study below).

    I invite everyone to explore these resources, and would strongly recommend reading them in connection with Ian Wilson’s book ‘The Shroud – Fresh Light on the 2,000 Year-Old Mystery’, an excellent work which relies extensively on Orthodox Church history in tracing the path of the Burial Cloth of Jesus which bears his divine image, the ‘True Likeness’, ‘Not Made By Hands’.

    Truly the Lord is Risen!
    Ralph Zosimas Sidway

    Orthodox Resources:

    Ian Wilson – The Shroud, Fresh Light on the 2,000 Year-Old Mystery

    Results of a recent 5-Year Study by the Italian department ENEA, the National Agency for New Technologies:

    Links on the Vignon Markings on the Shroud:

    • George Michalopulos says

      Ralph, Monk James, et al: you all might be interested to know that the Shroud is a big part of Russian spirituality. In two of the churches we visited back in July of 2016, representations of the Shroud were prominently displayed in shrines within larger churches. In one (if I remember correctly) the Shroud was the centerpiece of a basement chapel.

      Also, in two of the other churches we visited there were actual-size replicas of the major pilgrimage sites of the Holy Land. This was so people could walk through them, venerate them, receive a blessing. They were created to be exact replicas because not everybody would have a chance to visit Israel in their lifetimes.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Also, the Sudarium of Oviedo (Spain), which was the actual Mandylion (or “Napkin” placed over Jesus’ face) has markings that indicate that it was used at the same time as the Shroud itself.

        Mr Sidway, if you and any of your STURPie colleagues would like to get into touch with me I’d be honored greatly.

        • George, quite right about the Sudarium. It does not have any image, but the blood stains match the blood stains on the Shroud. The sudarium (or ‘face napkin’) was probably used to cover the head of crucifixion victims after they had died, while still on the cross, so as to conceal the typically gruesome facial contortions, and in the case of Jewish victims, perhaps to help collect the blood, so as to keep the blood with the body (a requirement of Jewish law for those who die a violent death, as I understand it).

          I include some links on the Sudarium of Oviedo in my Shroud Bibliography, but here they are:

          From The ‘Other’ Shroud of Christ, by Mary Jo Anderson, Catholic Report, 2015:

          “A little-known relic in Oviedo, Spain, called the Sudarium, the cloth said to have covered Jesus’ face after He was crucified, may be the key to unveiling the mystery of the Shroud of Turin… The Sudarium of Oviedo is by most accounts the best validation of the Shroud of Turin as the true burial cloth of Jesus of Nazareth… The history and the scientific studies on the Sudarium pose a fascinating question that leaps over the confusion of carbon dating: How can the Shroud date from the Medieval period if the face in the image is identical to the face that was covered by the first century Sudarium?”

          The Sudarium of Oviedo: Its History and Relationship to the Shroud of Turin, by Mark Guscin, B.A. M.Phil.; 1997:

          Stains on the Sudarium of Oviedo coincide with those on the Shroud – Vatican Insider, 2015:

          THE SUDARIUM OF OVIEDO AND THE SHROUD OF TURIN, by: Jim Dunning, 2010:

        • Another Shroudie says

          Truly He is Risen!

          You should look into the Manoppello Shroud too – a fascinating artifact.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            Another Shroudie,

            I find the Manoppello Shroud less convincing because they found pigment on it. To me, it doesn’t look AT ALL like the image on the Shroud of Turin. Would be interested in your thoughts. There is a guy named R. Falcinelli who is purportedly an expert in photography and he claims that the Manoppello image is a manmade painted artifact. So I don’t know. . .

            • Another Shroudie says


              I haven’t looked too much into it since I read the books by Paul Badde a few years ago: The Face of God and True Icon. There’s a section in there where they overlay the Manoppello Shroud onto the Turin Shroud and they match completely.

              Here’s an interview with the author:

              So many things were pillaged from Constantinople in 1204, possibly including the Holy Mandylion, that it’s quite likely that these may be the same thing.

              Vladimir Moss also has an interesting defense of the Shroud here:,art-shroud-turin/

              • Gail Sheppard says

                I emailed Barrie Schwortz to ask him about the Manoppello image. This was his response:

                From: Barrie Schwortz
                Sent: Friday, April 13, 2018 9:36 PM
                To: ‘Gail Sheppard’
                Subject: RE: Question RE: Manoppello Image

                Dear Gail,

                Great to hear from you. It has been quite a while since our Fountain Valley meeting! I have lived in X for 11 years! (The X is mine. GS)

                I personally don’t have time to post directly to any blogs as I get around 400 e-mails daily in two different mailboxes and can barely keep up already! 😉

                However, here is some basic information that might be helpful. The Manoppello image is undoubtedly an artwork. I know Paul Badde and Fr. Heinrich Pfeiffer who both promote it as the original Veronica, but the Vatican has an object they call the Veronica and it is stored in St. Peter’s in Rome. They bring it out and show it every 10 years and it too, is definitely an artwork. So neither is “real.” Remember that the Veronica is a legend and is never mentioned in the Gospels.

                FYI, superimposing one image over another is not a definitive test by itself and proves little, as the basic structure of most human faces is very similar so many faces would be good matches. Take my word for it that the Manoppello image is VERY different than the image on the Shroud. Remembering that I am a photographer and imaging specialist, this is definitely well within my own field of expertise, but you don’t have to take my word for it. You can read two papers based on direct examination of the Manoppello by Italian photographer Roberto Falcinelli. Here are links to the articles online:

                • FALCINELLI, Roberto – “The Veil of Manoppello: Work of Art or Authentic Relic?” (.pdf format) [349k] [September 2005] (From the 3rd International Dallas Conference) (Includes 30 photographs and illustrations)

                • FALCINELLI, Roberto – The Face of Manoppello and the Veil of Veronica: New Studies, – [July 2016] (From the Proceedings of the 2010 Frascati Conference)

                You can also search on “Manoppello” using the Website Search Engine on and you will get over 40 responses.

                I hope this is helpful.

                Warmest regards,


                * * *

                Based on Barrie’s response, I am convinced the Manoppello image does not match the Shroud and is not real.

      • George, Christ is Risen! Thanks so much for posting this story on the Shroud. It is so good to be brought back to its history and to see recent scholarship on this miracle and links to read further about it.

  4. Monk James says

    Christ is risen, truly risen!

    There is no doubt in my mind that the Holy Shroud of Turin is the actual burial cloth of our Lord Jesus Christ, attesting not only His death and burial, but also His resurrection.

    It’s been more than a century since it was first accidentally discovered — through the then new art of photography — that the image on the Shroud was a photographic negative.

    In many different ways, scientific advances from then till now have more than attested that the Shroud could not be a fake or forgery. Rather, it’s the most important relic we Christians have, a bit of physical evidence concerning Jesus Himself.

    Lord, glory to Your cross and to Your resurrection!

  5. Michael Bauman says

    The Shroud, The Holy Fire, healing relics, weeping icons, etc. All of these are wonderful demonstrations of the Incarnation–God is with us but they do not prove anything. To the skeptic they are random events that are, perhaps, strange, but not real. Neither to they prove the ascendance of a particular theology or soteriology. The faith is not about things seen. It is about the person of Jesus Christ and that He is everywhere present. They are important demonstrations as a reminder to the ever darkening world of the actual reality of the creation but they will seldom convince anyone who does not already believe because of an encounter with Jesus Christ. True it is quite possible for folks to have an encounter through these things but they, in and of themselves are not the encounter.

    Saints make themselves known through icons, Jesus is present in every action of the Divine Liturgy, the angelic host is too. They will be palpably evident to one who has an open heart. All of these things are normative to someone who believes. Not that they should be shrugged off, they are unique treasures but neither should they be emotionalized and held up to be more than they are.

    If one’s faith is based on the externals, it will not stand when tested. They, without the faith, will not transform and transfigure. Context is everything. Interrelationship is everything.

  6. Michael Bauman says

    Possible proof of my concept those who are adamant about no God just won’t look at any evidence. Josh McDowell published a pretty good book many years ago Evidence that Demands a Verdict. A lot of good information. I have a copy of the original. He recently revised and updated it with a lot more such evidence apparently.

    The evidence for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is overwhelming if one approaches it with any intellectual honesty at all. It really is.

    Comments on the announcement of said re-publication on Fox News went kinda like this for those who do not agree:

    He has no evidence
    The Bible is like Marvel Comics
    The Bible teaches adoptionism
    Anybody who believes such nonsense is crazy

    And more. Sure Mr. McDowell became a ‘Christian’ of sorts because of his honest searching out the evidence and reading it with an open mind–even though he had an opposite hypothesis going in, but he still tends to only consider such ‘evidence’ within the context of a certain paradigm and he stopped. We all do that for the most part. That is human nature.

    Building an evidentiary case is all well and good. Still my dad taught me incessantly that to really know anything and be able to articulate it, one has to go from the general to the specific. The specific information and the proper interrelationships of that information/evidence only mean something within a particular context.

    Regarding Christianity one has to assume or be open to the reality that God is.

    The rest, the entire panoply of His work and life in His creation to the extent that we know it, stems from that.

    God is a loving creator
    God is incarnate because of that love.
    As incarnate God–fully God and fully man he died on the Cross and rose from the dead.
    He is still fully God and fully man.
    He is everywhere present and fillest all things
    He reveals Himself to us in and through everything if we have the eyes to see and the ears to hear.
    We can know Him as He reveals Himself, not just about Him.

    All it really takes is a little humility and honesty. It is neither hard, arcane nor esoteric.

    To deepen our interrelationship–well that is where the struggle usually comes in because, I at least, am a stiff necked person who seems to only become humble when I have no other choice. I am a bit like the mule who has to be whacked between the eyes with a two by four in order to pay attention.

    Just because salvation is incredibly multi-faceted, even ineffable does not mean that it needs to be complicated.

    As the Morning Prayer I use every morning says: “Help me to know that all is sent by You….” (Even the Catholics and the Protestants and the unbelievers).

    Christ is Risen, have no doubt. Rejoice in the Lord always. He provides for us abundantly. The old Jimmy Stewart movie Shenandoah has that as its core theme. If you haven’t watched it — a really good movie.

    Proof is every where you look if you want to see it.

    • Bishop Anaxios says

      Oh, I get it

      The ‘DC’ in DC Comics must stand for ‘DeuteroCanonical’

      The rivalry with Marvel Comics makes so much more sense now

  7. M. Stankovich says

    I just returned from Holy Week & Pascha in San Francisco at the OCA’s Holy Trinity Cathedral, which in October prepares to celebrate the 150th anniversary of its founding. The true richness and gift of such an opportunity, ultimately, is walking from room to room, from floor to floor, where previously lived the Saints on our American land. And extraordinarily, not only is, for example, St. Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and Illuminator of North America glorified in the Holy Icons, but his own vestments are on display in the church, and all throughout the building are actual photographs of the saint. Likewise, 10-minutes away by bus is the ROCOR Cathedral of the Theotokos “Joy of All Who Sorrow,” which contains the incorrupt remains of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco, his honoured Holy Icons, and many photographs of the Saint. Somehow, as I read this accounting of centuries of “in-depth” investigation, assessment, research, and scientific appraisal (e.g. based on “carbon-data testing”; Vignon Markings; the potential for legitimate human fluids to “stain & discolor”; pigment scrapings analysis; ENEA studies, etc.), that 14+ centuries later we are no closer to confirming authenticity. But we are absolutely sure that the photographs we have are, in fact Vasily Ivanovich Bellavin (St. Tikhon) and Mikhail Maximovitch (St. John), but would anyone argue we remove their icons from the church and substitute a Pantone-corrected photograph?

    So, for me personally, there is a significant difference between “pieties” and “proofs,” and three things come to mind:

    1. I have said many times, I can’t help but state the obvious: “Then [the rich man] said, “I pray you therefore, father [Abraham], that you would send him [Lazarus] to my father’s house: For I have five brothers; that he may testify to them, lest they also come into this place of torment.” Abraham said to him, “They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.” And he said, No, father Abraham: but if one went to them from the dead, they will repent.” And [Abraham] said to [the rich man], “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” (Lk. 16″27-31). The obvious corollary should be fresh in your mind: “Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard his blasphemy.” (Matt. 26:65)

    2. Perhaps it’s better understood in Jesus’ exchange with the Samaritan woman: “Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour comes, when you shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship you know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” ((Jn. 4:21-25)

    3. And finally, in the Acts of the Apostles, Stephen, in confronting the Sanhedrin before he was martyred, by recounting their infidelity to the Covenant (“[You] have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.” (Acts 7:53), clearly points out that “Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking to Moses…” but now, in Jesus Christ, “the most High dwells not in temples made with hands; as said the prophet, ‘Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will you build me? said the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?’ Has not my hand made all these things?” (Acts 7:44, 48-50)

    “Proof is every where you look if you want to see it,” Michael Bauman? I believe it more appropriate to say “proof” is unlikely, “pieties” abound, and our God calls us to the “one/same household” [οἰκείους] of faith [τῆς πίστεως] (Gal. 6:10). I certainly do not mean to disparage pieties as “food for the faithful,” but the fact that we have been freely given the Scripture, the Fathers, the Canons, the Liturgy, and our Holy Tradition should give us considerable pause.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Michael S. I agree with you that evidence abounds and it is literally everywhere you look. Proof has a root meaning to test. So we seek to test the evidence (proof it) when we are in doubt. Each of the elements you mention are not proofs, they are evidence. If they are not enough for some, they may seek additional evidence to prove or disprove a hypothesis.

      A number of people have done that attempting to satisfy their minds that the evidence proves God, especially Jesus Christ, does not exist or He did not rise from the dead. They were open minded enough to follow the evidence and it led them to disproving their original hypothesis. Met. Anthony Bloom being one such.

      Those with no doubt about the existence of God (pro or con) do not need to proof anything and no amount of evidence will likely change that person’s mind. Some who doubt may change when confronted with the direct revelation of the person of Jesus Christ, like St. Paul.

      Thus my statement that we seek proof when we do not know. Pieties are pieties, they are not evidence particularly except of a person’s faith who holds to the piety. That includes the Pope, the Holy Fire, the Shroud, and even many relics.

      To an unbeliever, the incorrupt body of St. John is neither evidence nor proof. They will find it macabre. Unless, they happen into the church and encounter, Jesus Christ or St. John in person.

      Then there is the question of the level of proof one gets and/or requires. There are many people for whom the evidence in the Bible appears to be sufficient to believe, as was the intention according to John 20:31. They may unfortunately artificially limit their belief to the Bible and not consider anything else.

      Others come to belief without the Bible. The revelation of the person of Jesus Christ is sufficient but not complete.

      The Fathers are a great resource if one has the mind and the context to appreciate them. It requires, IMO, both a Biblical mind and the context of the life of the Church (many of the items you enumerate after “the Fathers” in your list.

      All of these are indeed part of the oikos of the Christian community. They are essential elements and are not part of a spiritual buffet of some sort. The lives of the saints and icons also need to be mentioned specifically as essential parts of Holy Tradition, not just pieties.

      I have explicated my own hierarchy of facts and briefly the context of how to evaluate them. I was taught (traditioned) this by my father, my mother and by my history professors. It has been refined by my experience in the Church. I have found it extraordinarily reliable in coming to the Truth and to adventure more deeply into the Truth.

      • cynthia curran says

        That’s not hard, there are some Roman and Jewish sources that mention Christ like Josephus, Tacitus, and Suetonius. The bible references a lot of history if one gets passed the early chapters of Genesis. Several Egyptian rulers and Assyrian rulers mention in the old testament are found in secular sources. The bible is a lot different than mythical Greek stories of Zeus which have few references to historical persons.

  8. Alitheia1875 says

    There are two things about the Shroud that have not been explained away and which have nothing to do with science, art, etc. The first is that large single cloths were not used at that time to wrap bodies in. See, for instance the icon of the raising of Lazarus which shows Lazarus emerging from the tomb with winding cloth trailing from his body. It is interesting that the western image of Christ emerging from the tomb shows Him enveloped in a flowing white robe. However, no one, not even the Roman soldiers so prominently displayed in this western representation, saw the Resurrection. The second, and very important issue, is that nowhere, absolutely nowhere, in the historical recordings of the early and middle centuries of the Church and empire, in the east, is mention made of such a shroud. And, it is foolish to think that if such a relic was known, it would not have been kept and displayed prominently in the capital of the empire. Was the Shroud brought to the west by crusaders? If so, it is immediately suspect. Where was it found, specifically? What is its provenance? Orthodox need to think long and hard before accepting and venerating it as a true relic associated with Christ.

    • Constaninos says

      Hi Alithea,
      Personally, I believe the Shroud is the actual burial cloth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To me, the evidence for its authenticity is overwhelming. As far as the icons depicting Christ exiting the tomb are concerned, they are holy and pious, but historically inaccurate. Let us remember, the angel rolled the stone away to prove the tomb was empty, not to let Christ out. If we were in the tomb at the time of the resurrection what would we have seen? We would not have seen a corpse sitting up like in a Bela Lugosi Dracula movie. We would have seen the grave cloth crumble because the Lord had a glorified, resurrected, eternal body. He never walked out of the tomb, but He left the tomb empty. The Lord has risen indeed!!

    • Monk James says

      Alitheia1875 (April 12, 2018 at 11:10 pm) says:

      There are two things about the Shroud that have not been explained away and which have nothing to do with science, art, etc. The first is that large single cloths were not used at that time to wrap bodies in. SNIP
      Christ is risen, truly risen!

      Here, ‘Alitheia1875’ is greatly mistaken.

      The burial of St Lazaros had been completed four days before our Lord Jesus Christ raised him from the dead. This means that he would have been treated in the traditional Jewish manner: thoroughly washed by his male relatives, wrapped in his invalidated tallit (prayer shawl), and ceremonially wound into his shroud, which was then tied at the usual places.

      None of this was possible for Sts Joseph and Nikodemos to do, primarily because of the lateness of the hour, and their need to at least remove our Lord’s body from public display before the Passover began on that evening of Holy Friday. Nor could they have washed Him, since Jewish law regards human blood as sacred and belonging to God. Jews who die a bloody death or as executed criminals are nor washed so that their blood is not lost.

      As a result, and as clearly noted in the gospels, our Lord was placed in the tomb naked with His shroud merely folded over him full-length. The shroud was left untied so that it would continue to absorb His blood, and so that the holy Myrrhbearing women could return after the Sabbath and anoint His body. packing the shroud with aromatics and tying it properly after winding Him in it.

      But when they arrived at the Lord’s tomb at dawn on the third day. they found it open and Him gone, the burial cloths lying in place.

      There is a tradition that St James, the Lord’s step-brother and first bishop of Jerusalem, preserved Jesus’s shroud and used it to cover the table when he officiated at the Eucharist. This may the origin of our antimension on which we place our eucharistic offerings and which bears the same image as the original shroud; the liturgical shroud (epitaphios) which we venerate on Holy Friday seems to be an imitation of the antimension.

      Perhaps the tradition of venerating the holy shroud is not so foolish as ‘Alitheia1875 ‘ suggests.

      • M. Stankovich says

        Or perhaps Alitheia1875 simply was very attentive to the reading of the Gospel account of the raising of Lazarus and repeated accounts of the burial of the Lord during Holy Week, and is not so far off base.

        First, should we refer to the burial of Lazarus as the “traditional Jewish manner” – as you suggest – or using the words of St. John, “as is the custom of the Jews as preparation for burial,” – all we know for certain is that he came out of the grave “bound [δεδεμένος] hand and foot with grave clothes [κειρίαις, literally “bound at hands and feet by strips of linen“], and his face was covered with a facecloth/napkin [σουδαρίῳ] which was bound to him [περιεδέδετο].” (Jn. 19:40) Apparently, St. John was awed enough to provide no further comment as to his appearance.

        Secondly, we know from St. John’s account that Joseph and Nicodemus took the body of Jesus, “and bound it [καὶ ἔδησαν αὐτὸ] in linen clothes [ἐν ὀθονίοις – this noun is a dative-neuter plural] with aromatic spices [μετὰ τῶν ἀρωμάτων], and only then placed him in a new tomb [μνημεῖον καινόν]. St. John’s final word’s provide absolutely no commentary as to His “positioning,” nor a “shroud laid lengthwise over him,” but three simple words: “ἔθηκαν τὸν Ἰησοῦν. [They laid Jesus]” in a new tomb. (Jn. 19:40)

        Finally, St, John has recorded Peter’s precise description of what he saw as he entered the Lord’s empty tomb:(Jn. 20:6) “τὰ ὀθόνια [the linen cloths] κείμενα [lying there], (20:7) καὶ τὸ σουδάριον [and the facecloth/napkin], ὃ ἦν [which had been/was] ἐπὶ [upon] τῆς κεφαλῆς αὐτοῦ [his head], οὐ μετὰ [was not with] τῶν ὀθονίων [the linen cloths] κείμενον [lying] ἀλλὰ [but] χωρὶς [by itself/alone] ἐντετυλιγμένον [folded up]…

        Obviously, the unanswered question here is, if Joseph and Nicodemus had, in fact, already prepared and bound the body of Jesus for burial, why were the women disciples returning to the tomb “before the dawn” with additional myrrh and spices? St. Chrysostom offers one broad thought (“The women were simply unconventional – consider how one poured a costly ointment over His head and wiped Him with her hair – and unlike the male disciples did not abandon Him.”), and one specific thought: in considering the request of the the Jews to “have a guard set, lest someone steal him away,” St. Chrysostom comments on the common practice at the time of “dressing the dead in splendor,” only to find the tombs opened, desecrated, and robbed: Did the women come early to the tomb to “complete the job,” only to find the body of the Lord missing? (Did not Mary Magdalene, who mistakenly took Jesus for the gardener, say to him, “they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.” Jn. 20:13) St. Chrysostom seemed fairly certain that the women returned early to the tomb in order to “re-prepare” him as necessary:

        The costliness of burial has often caused the breaking open of tombs, and has caused him to be cast out naked and unburied, who had been buried with much care. But alas for vainglory! How great the tyranny which it exhibits even in sorrow! How great the folly! Many, that this may not happen, having cut in pieces those fine clothes, and filled them with many spices, so that they may be doubly useless to those who would insult the dead, then commit them to the earth. Are not these the acts of madmen? Of men beside themselves? To make a show of their ambition, and then to destroy it? “Yea,” says some one, “it is in order that they may lie safely with the dead that we use all these contrivances.” Well then, if the robbers do not get them, will not the moths get them, and the worms? Or if the moths and worms get them not, will not time and the moisture of putrefaction destroy them? But let us suppose that neither tomb-breakers, nor moths, nor worms, nor time, nor anything else, destroy what lies in the tomb, but that the body itself remains untouched until the Resurrection, and these things are preserved new and fresh and fine; what advantage is there from this to the departed, when the body is raised naked, while these remain here, and profit us nothing for those accounts which must be given? “Wherefore then,” says some one, “was it done in the case of Christ?” Commentary on the Gospel of John, Homily 85

        It is neither clear nor obvious to me in the least, from the Holy Scripture or the commentary of the Holy Fathers, that Joseph & Nicodemus did not have time to bind the body of the Lord in “linen clothes (N-DNP),” with the aromatic spices they had brought with them; prepared it “as is the custom of the Jews”; and laid Him in a new tomb. Peter clearly finds the “linen clothes separate from one another – indicating it was not a single shroud laid over Him lengthwise, awaiting the ministrations of the women disciples.

        As I recall, veneration is an earned qualification that should be based upon criteria built upon the Tradition of the Church; then revealed to us by the Holy Spirit over time. I say again, 14-centuries later, this story is not getting any better. And changing the facts of the Holy Gospel can never help.

        • Christ is Risen! Michael Stankovich,

          I don’t know why, but all I hear in this discussion is “Let the dead, bury the dead.”

          IMHO, Orthodoxy’s faithful, dance a fine line between that which is dead, and that which is living. Wasting time on that which is dead, while the living here on earth thirst, passed aside by some in their lust for relics and signs of proof.

          Saint John Maximovich is a Saint, not because his body did not decompose after his death, but by what he did when he was alive. Even after his death, miracles continue not by his relics, but by his living soul who prays for us, from up above.

          If I may Michael, what are your thoughts on The Holy Fire?

          • M. Stankovich says


            Indeed He is Risen!

            My thoughts on the Holy Fire are unspoken, but hardly silent. Bishop Basil (Rhadzionko) – may his memory be eternal, and may he pray to God for us! – was asked by Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia to bring the Holy Fire from Jerusalem for the first occasion when the Patriarch could receive it free of communist control. Much of this event is contained in an 8-VHS boxed set produced in Russia after Vladyka’s death, but this volume begins as Vladyka Basil arrived in Moscow with a special lantern lit from the Holy Fire. He was transported to near the front of a procession that is making its way to the Patriarchal Cathedral. There are thousands of people on both sides of the street; it would seem that all the bells of every church in the area are ringing; and everyone is singing. Several Russian commentators point out that “no one has seen such a religious celebration in Russia since before the revolution.” But when they realize that Vladyka Basil is now leading the procession for the remainder of the walk, they started cheering. The camera then pans to the steps of the cathedral which is lined with clergy, and a door opens at the top (a door, I was told, that had not been utilized in an extended period of time – I do not know if this is significant or even true) from which emerged the patriarch. The cameras continued to switch between the views of those who were processing toward the cathedral, and those waiting for them to arrive. When Vladyka had finally ascended the cathedral stairs and faced the Patriarch, Alexey II accepted the Holy Fire, raised it for everyone to see, and he and Vladyka Basil proceeded into the cathedral to pealing bells and who knows how many voices singing “Christ is Risen!”

            Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Therefore, know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God. And every spirit that does not confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof you have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore they speak of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God: he that knows God hears us; he that is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. (1Jn 4:1-5)

            C’était le Feu Sacré!

            • Yes Michael, the Holy Fire is sacred, and those who hoist it, proclaiming Christ is Risen! Truly Risen! Are filled with the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of Truth. The Holy Spirit, of the Resurrected Christ is indeed running thru us, regardless the origin of the Holy Fire.

              • Constaantinos says

                The Holy Fire is not a proven miracle. In orthodoxy, aren’t we supposed to be skeptical about such occurrences? The problem I have with it is that it is a miracle on demand. They have marching bands in Bethlehem all coordinated before the miracle has happened. What are the odds that this miracle will occur in 2019,2020, etc? 100%!! When they put cameras in the tomb and we can actually see the Holy Fire descend, then we would know it is truly a miracle. Until such a time, I remain deeply skeptical. On the other hand, there is overwhelming evidence that the Shroud is authentic. We absolutely know the Shroud is not a forgery. There is no relic like it in the entire world. Some physicists think the secrets of the universe are locked up in the Shroud.

                • Christos Anesti! Constaantinos, aka Constaninos, aka…
                  A deal is a deal, No? Let me repeat again. I will not comment on your posts, and you agreed to do the same. I hold no animus against you, and even pray for you, as I do for all my social media brothers and sisters. But, I choose not to have any dialog with you.

        • Constaninos says

          Mr. Stankovich,
          If I may, I would like to ask you three questions: which saint has had the greatest influence on you? What do you think of western saints like St. Theresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross? Finally, what are your thoughts on hesychasm? I know you are very busy so please feel free to respond at your convenience, if you have the time to respond at all. Thank you.

    • Constaninos says

      Actually, if the Catholic Church wants to truly be ecumenical, they should return the Shroud to the Ecumenical Patriarch. The Holy Shroud was kept in the Hagia Sophia for nearly two hundred years until the sack of Constantinople. The crusaders stole the Shroud at this time.
      Also, Orthodox iconography depicting Christ leaving the tomb are beautiful, pious- and historically inaccurate. The angel did not roll the stone away to allow Christ to exit the tomb, but to prove that it was empty. Christ was already outside the tomb and walking around. The Lord has risen!

      • Michael Bauman says

        If the Roman Catholic Church wants to be truly ecumenical it will have to officially renounce the Papal claims, repent of all the Papal heresies and innovations and reunite with the Patriarchs of the east. Now, what would that do to the Robber Council of Cyprus I wonder? It might have such an impact on the EP that he would turn to wandering the streets in ecumenical confusion wondering “Who is first? (not Who’s on first BTW–had to get my baseball reference).

        But seriously, either Rome or the Orthodox Church is already the ecumen. Everybody else (to quote Fr. Thomas Hopko) are the nuts that fell off the tree.

        The innovations of Rome, IMO, disqualify them so that leaves us.

        Anyone who wants to be ecumenical–“Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”

        That repentance is also required of us so we can possibly begin to recognize what we have been gifted and see no need at all to look over the fence in envy and greed and lust of power.

        It is after all envy, greed and lust of power that drive the ideological demand for false unity that instead keeps us apart.

        Lord have mercy.

        • Constantinos says

          Mr. Bauman,
          Can you explain to me how post Schism Catholic saints have been able to raise the dead? Not even the Orthodox can do that.
          The Orthodox Church has its share of innovations as well. Christ forbade divorce and remarriage. The Orthodox Church allows this in contravention of Christ’s explicit commands. Humility and repentance are required on the part of both the Orthodox and Catholics.

          • Michael Bauman says

            Constantinos, I cannot explain anything about the RCC. I do not really care what they do. Like my friend said, not my monkey, not my circus. Do not fall into the trap of comparing the best of the RCC to the worst example of we Orthodox John 21:22.

            However, as far as marriage goes the RCC is not exactly a paragon of Christian virtue. Multiple marriage is quite fine with them as long as folks are willing to bastardize their children and pay enough money for an annulment. (My boss is a faithful RC. He is divorced but managed to have his second marriage recognized and is in full communion within the RCC. He had a civil marriage to his second wife, outside the RCC and then petitioned the RCC to recognize that marriage. He has enough intelligence, money, persistence and influence to get it done.

            BTW how to you annul a sacrament? Especially how do you annul a sacrament while at the same time forever ex-communicating divorced folks who do not want to bastardize their children or have the money to get the marriage annulled? Smacks of selling of indulgences and the idea that the sacraments are ‘preformed’ by the priest. My lovely wife was a Roman Catholic for a while in her youth. BTW This is a specific example of how the RCC is not really incarnational, i.e., they deny the reality of the Incarnation in their ecclesiology.

            But, since I take Papal claims seriously, I have to admit that it is at least possible that the RCC is exactly who they claim to be and that we are schismatics destined for hell. That is a really tough case to make historically and theologically but it is at least remotely possible. I did my own research on those claims long ago and quite quickly dismissed them are valid. Still, I will admit to the possibility out of a genuine attempt to be a little humble.

            I grew up in an RCC neighborhood and have had many RCC friends over the years with whom I have attended RC services. That is the prime reason I was never really interested in the RCC. Nevertheless, I have also been inspired by a number of RC saints during my journey to the Church.

            The Papal claims are the single biggest reason for a lack of unity in the Christian world and the biggest obstacle to achieving any sort of genuine reunion in the future.

            Genuine unity comes down to two choices: Accept the Papal Claims, repent and be received by the RCC OR Repent and seek union with Jesus Christ within the one, holy, catholic and Apostolic Church, i.e. the Orthodox Church. The so-called Non-Chalcedonian Orthodox I leave up to the bishops. Are they monophysites? Do they deny the full humanity and the full divinity of Jesus Christ?

            If you read the transcripts of some of the reunion conferences as I have done a bit of, they come across just that way despite their public claims to the contrary. Plus we each have men we honor as saints that the other body has anathematized as heretics. I don’t really know how you undo that. Way above my pay grade.

            Just because someone calls themselves Christian does not mean they are Christian. It is an appellation that has lost all meaning, except as a pejorative, in the culture. Just because someone works signs and wonders in the name of Jesus Christ does not mean they are Christian either. Matthew 24:24

            Have you been to an RCC Funeral Mass lately? It is a Mass at which the dead body of the deceased happens to be present. It is quite often conducted by a priest who did not really know the person so there is a short lip service eulogy and the actual person is ignored the rest of the time. Contrast that with the Orthodox funeral service. The profound difference there and in all of the sacraments really is great evidence IMO that the saving grace of sacrament is just not there in the RCC any more. (Anecdotal, small sample size, incredibly biased and cannot be tested empirically but it is the experience my entire life). I have never known the presence of God in an RC church. Yet the first time I entered an Orthodox Church and experienced the Divine Liturgy celebrated by, I found out later a really dysfunctional priest, there was Jesus Christ walking down the isle with the priest in the Great Entrance. Not the last such experience.

            The RCC has holy people, the various Protestant denominations have truly pious people who love Jesus Christ but neither has any genuine claim on being the Church for that I thank God.

            The life of Christ flows through the Orthodox Church, overflows and is there for all to participate in to an extent. However the fullness of that life and the fullness of the traditional practice and order are only in the Orthodox Church. Unfortunately, we often do not act like it, we often fail to appreciate the gift we have been given or, worse, are embarrassed by it or fail to practice what has been given to us. None of the failures invalidate the reality even when there are examples outside the Church of genuine piety and faithfulness showing forth the mercy of Jesus Christ.

          • Constaninos,

            Can you explain to me how post Schism Catholic saints have been able to raise the dead?

            I cannot ‘explain it’, but I know this: The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is not a doctrine – not even a correct and true doctrine. He is a divine Person who responds personally, graciously, kindly, and generously to faith in Him and His Son. I note that it is possible to know a person truly as a person without knowing everything about them or even while having some mistaken notions about them.

            What true ‘doctrine’ we know about God has not been ‘decided upon’ by men. It is the true witness of men who knew/know Him personally.

            My father is 5’ 9” tall, mostly bald, and gets winded easily due to a bad heart. These are three true doctrines about my father that I know because I know him personally. If someone told me that he met my father and described him as 6’5” tall, thick-haired, and athletic I would know immediately that they were lying. And if they began telling others about this man they had met and insisted that this was the truth about my father, they would be heretics in terms of the correct ‘doctrine’ about my father. No one to whom they spoke about him describing him as such would ever recognize my father if they met him in person. This is the danger of heresy. It misdirects. It is false information with no basis in the kind of knowledge that comes of knowing, as opposed to (supposedly) knowing about.

            On the other hand, I can truly say that even as an ignorant child I knew my father, recognized him as my father, and would know any man who was not my father who claimed to be my father as impostor. And this is true even though I knew (and in some ways still know) very little about him.

            There is, in short, no doubt in my mind that there are many who find themselves outside the Orthodox Church who know God in the way I know/knew my father. I myself knew God prior to becoming Orthodox. When I learned the truth of Orthodoxy it cleared up innumerable doctrinal distortions (things I thought I “had to believe” in order to be a Christian) that did not accord with my experiential knowledge of Him. Nevertheless, my response was not “Thank you for introducing me to the true God.” Rather, it was a sense of relief. “This is the God I have known all my life, and only now does the doctrine about Him align fully with my personal knowledge of Him.”

            I do not doubt that miracles of God occur outside the Orthodox Church. But my faith isn’t in miracles. It is in the God I know and Whom I know about because I know Him – both through my own encounter and through that of those who know Him better than I.

            …raise the dead? Not even the Orthodox can do that.

            Nor can anyone whenever they choose. But with God all things are possible. And yes, there have been Orthodox Christians who have raised the dead.

            • Constantinos says

              What I’m really trying to say is I believe the Orthodox Church has been impoverished because of its rejection of the Charismatic Renewal and its denigration of some of the gifts of the Spirit. The Pentecostal/ Charismatic Renewal has been the greatest move of God in the twentieth century, and, yet the Orthodox Church has been bereft of its blessings.
              You are going to retort with the saying, ” the Orthodox Church has never lacked the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.” Oh, but it has and does. Read Sancramentalized But Not Evangelized by Father Stephanou. He said we are in love with Orthodoxy, but not Jesus Christ. As a former director of the Full Gospel Business mens Fellowship International, I can assure you the Charismatic Renewal has been a mighty move of God. We Orthodox are at best lukewarm- and what did Christ say in the Apocalypse of St. John,” because you are neither hot nor cold, I will spew you out of my mouth.” We Orthodox need to speak less about the superiority of Orthodoxy and more about the Lord Jesus Christ. The Orthodox Church needs to become evangelized. Why did the Pentecostal/Charismatic Renewal start in the Protestant Churches? Because He wanted to make us jealous. As St. Paul said, “desire earnestly the spiritual gifts.” I yearn to see the Charismatic Renewal in the Orthodox Church.

              • Michael Bauman says

                Mr. C, you are quite right that people can fall in love with the externals that are perceived in the Orthodox Church. You are quite wrong on the solution. The “Charismatic Revival” was an excess of emotion that led people into really dangerous places including hobnobbing with demons or cult-like control by so called charismatic leaders. It has no place in the Orthodox Church. Read Hank Hanegraaff on the topic sometime.

                What is required is repentance, full and deep and continual repentance. Indeed the most long lasting and effectual fruit of the Holy Spirit is repentance not only to salvation, but unto mercy for others and a foundation that will not be rocked by the mind of the world. I can only repent for myself realizing that any sin or passion that I see in someone else is, in fact, embedded in my own heart.

                I can assure you that I love the Church only because I love Jesus Christ, sinner that I am. It is crazy to do anything else. The only reason to be in the Orthodox Church is union with Jesus Christ. That union includes all of one’s being, not just the mental/emotional aspect all too often controlled by our passions.

                I have seen a great deal of evidence of the activity of the Holy Spirit in my time in the Orthodox Church and there is much more that is hidden — only revealed when necessary. It is not something to display like a neon sign.

                The full Gospel is guarded, maintained, practiced and preached in the Orthodox Church, just not by everyone in every parish. But that is to be expected is it not?

                We all fall short of the glory of God, but when we do it is crucial to go before the throne of grace and seek mercy for ourselves. That too is part of the full Gospel

                The way of the world is lust of power, power to change everyone and everything but myself, to “make a difference”. That is a lie. It is the seduction of the devil just as in the Garden in a slightly different package.

                Change, metanoia, happens only when I repent and allow God to take care of the rest. His mercy and grace extends through time and space and touches the heart of everyone I have hurt because of my sins, selfishness and the desire to be right.

                Give thanks to God for all things. Repent. Give alms with a merciful heart. Then will the Holy Spirit come and rest in your heart as you offer up all of your life to Him.

                It is not magic but the Incarnation and the Seal of the Gift of the Holy Spirit means that He is very near, closer than hands and feet and often staring at you out of the eyes of those who are nearest to you. If you have eyes to see and ears to hear.

                Rejoice, for Christ is Risen.

                • Constantinos says

                  Hank Hannegraaff has never rejected the Charismatic Renewal; in fact, he has spoken at Full Gospel Business Men’s meetings. The Charismatic Renewal has brought millions of people to faith in Jesus Christ.Father Timothy Cremeens is a strong proponent of the Charismatic Renewal. The Holy Spirit blows where He wills. There have been abuses in the Charismatic Renewal just as there are many abuses in the Orthodox Church, but overall the Renewal has produced much good fruit. No one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. The Orthodox Church essentially forbids speaking in tongues, but Paul said, ” I wish that you all spokes in tongues” and that “I speak in tongues more than you all.” It’s not a good idea to attribute to Satan what is a work of the Holy Spirit. The Orthodox Church has no zeal for evangelism; the Charismatic Renewal is zealous to evangelize because the love of Christ compels us. Seraphim Rose came up with all that demonic crap in his notorious book. His book Orthodoxy and The Religion of the Future is a sure sign that he is anything but a saint.

                • Tim R. Mortiss says

                  When I first began to attend Orthodox services around 1979/80, coming from a Presbyterian background, the thing that hit me was not the “externals” of the beauty of the church, service, vestments, etc. (which I did like very much), but rather the constant invocation of the Trinity, and above all, the similarly constant references to the divinity of Christ. “Christ our God” is not a phrase that you will hear in Protestant churches. The reason is that while they profess it, they don’t believe it (I speak broadly, of course), and, indeed, they are quite uncomfortable with it. This, to me, was a huge thing.

                  This obviously has relevance to the Theotokos, who quite simply has no presence at all in the Protestant churches. Even the fundamentalist Protestant biblical literalists seem to totally ignore the words concerning Mary; both those spoken to her and those she herself speaks.

              • Bishop Anaxios says

                I got a fever

                And the only prescription

                Is more tambourine

              • Alitheia1875 says

                About as un-Orthodox and understanding and explanation of Orthodoxy vis-a-vis this subject as you can get.

              • Antiochene Son says

                You are being snookered by snake oil salesmen. That brand of “charismata” has never been part of Orthodox spirituality, and I for one certainly am not “jealous” of it.

                These “gifts” are Mohammad and Joseph Smith tier madness.

                Real spiritual gifts are seeing the uncreated light, prayer without ceasing, humility, and for a select few saints, wonderworking.

                Not babbling and writhing about on the ground. Any garden variety demoniac can do that.

                • Billy Jack Sunday says

                  One of my favorite movies is Rudy

                  Miniature dude trying to live his dream of playing college football for Notre Dame. A true story of a real guy who tried with all his will to make the team – against all possible disadvantages and probabilities

                  Excellent movie

                  At one point, the coach tells the determined but unlikely Rudy that he wishes he could put Rudy’s heart in the body of his large athletic players

                  He also tells one spoiled player that if he had half the heart Rudy displayed, he would make it big. As it were, that player was instead ejected from the team

                  I’m certainly not going to attempt to defend or apologize for Charismatic Renewal movement

                  I won’t speculate whether this or that was of God or not

                  I do know that it was big and that the Shepherding Movement was its Achilles Heel

                  I will say

                  A huge number of those folks that participated in that movement love God so much it would put a lot of us Orthodox to shame

                  I wish the heart for God they have would be evident in my life

                  I wish I could put their heart in our body

                  I believe we would see many many good things as a result

                  Things that indeed should be

                  However, equating Charismatic Christians with Mormons, Muslims and demoniacs is not only inaccurate and silly –

                  It is certainly unjustified and mean spirited

                  Those are Christians who love our God

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Billy Jack, you are a man after my own heart!

                    Rudy was one of the greatest movies of all time. The musical score by Jerry Goldsmith is worth the price of admission alone. I can’t help but get emotional every time I see the climax where the players demand that Rudy be allowed to play in the last game and he finally gets to actually go onto the field and the crowd goes wild.

                    One of my favorite scenes was the elderly priest who befriended Rudy and answered one of his questions thusly: “There’s only two things I know: one, there is a God and two, I’m not Him”.

                    Lotsa wisdom in that remark.

                    • Billy Jack Sunday says


                      I agree

                      The music in the movie is totally great

                      I could go on and on about so many scenes and quotes – indeed there is so much there

                      Did you know the real Rudy is in the movie? I’d watched the movie countless times before discovering this.

                      The end scene of the big game where Rudy’s father and brother are in the stadium stands – the real Rudy is behind them as a Notre Dame fan

              • Constaninos,

                Here is where we agree – at least in some measure.

                …we are in love with Orthodoxy, but not Jesus Christ

                I would say “we” is too broad a word. “Some” or “many” might be accurate. Some just love the ritual, some just love the music, some just love the apparent traditionalism, and some enjoy the pride of being in the religious ‘club’ that is more “right” and ascetically rigorous than everyone else – all while seeming to ignore Christ Himself. I have seen it, and you apparently have seen it as well.

                We Orthodox need to speak less about the superiority of Orthodoxy and more about the Lord Jesus Christ.

                My own experience has been that in the parishes where Orthopraxis is a merely a given and the primary focus is on Christ the people are generally not lukewarm.

                As to the rest, I suspect you are so well-grounded (presumably from infancy if you are Greek) in your Orthopraxis that the dangers inherent in these ‘movements of the Spirit’ are opaque to you and would be unlikely to affect you personally in a negative way. Our God works in mysterious ways to seek and save the lost. I have seen Him use even the enticements of heretical sects to draw people to Himself. In this sense good can come of them. But ‘movements of the Spirit’ are very vague and highly subject to abuse, deception, and misdirection if they are not disciplined by dogma and the Tradition in the Church. Since you quoted St. Paul’s epistle to the Church at Corinth, I would draw your attention to the fact that in the context of speaking about these things he instructed…

                “Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge.”

                The “others” are, of course the assembly, the Ecclesia, the Church.

                Far too often in these ‘movements’ the authority of prophets is given precedence over the Church (After all, it is “a word from the Lord,” and who would dare go against God?). But Paul makes it quite clear that the reverse is true. The prophets and their ‘words from the Lord’ (whether true or not) are subject to the judgment of the Church. All sorts of delusion, deception, and madness occur when this is not followed. I have seen it with my own eyes in “Full Gospel” and even Roman Catholic circles (The insipid ‘prophetess’ Vassula Ryden immediately comes to mind in the latter case). Whenever ‘gifts of the Spirit’ presume to be over and against the Church they sooner or later reveal themselves to be heretical, divisive, and destructive even if in the beginning they seduce the hearer with tidbits of truth. We even have ‘prophets’ in the Orthodox Church who follow these ‘movements of the Spirit,’ albeit in a different fashion. Most notable are those who also place themselves over and above the Church by prophesying that the Church has been wrong all along about sexuality and its prohibition against female clergy.

                None of this is intended to imply that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are inactive in our day or always fraudulent. It is to caution that they be exercised in their proper place which is in the Church.

                • Constantinos says

                  Thank you for your excellent post, however, I think I have explain myself. You are totally correct about being subject to the judgment of the church. Let me briefly note the Charismatic Renewal in the Catholic Church. If a bishop in the Catholic Church orders a prayer group to cease, the prayer group will immediately shut itself down. I have noted that Father Timothy Cremeens has tried to bring renewal to the Orthodox Church, and, naturally, has met with resistance. I believe all the gifts of the Holy Spirit are in evidence today except in the Orthodox Church.
                  During the Divine Liturgy, of course, that takes precedence, and the greatest miracle is receiving the body and blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That should be our own personal renewal in the Holy Spirit, but I bemoan the fact there are no prayer meetings in the Orthodox Church. I bemoan the fact the gifts of the Holy Spirit are not in evidence in the church.
                  Why can’t we admit the Charismatic Renewal is a genuine move of God that is available to us in this day and age? I can’t think of anything more dangerous than the Ephraimite monasteries. These monasteries have caused more damage to Orthodoxy than the Charismatic Renewal could ever do in a million years.
                  I read an article on a Greek Orthodox website that the gift of tongues is rarely given. Has he been living under a rock? The gift of tongues and all the other gifts of the Holy Spirit are widely dispersed in this day and age.

                • Bishop Anaxios says

                  For those of us Orthodox who may be both extremely insular and culturally naive

                  I’ve devised a simple algorithm to help avoid any awkward misunderstandings and potential embarrassments


                  Revival meeting

                  No tambourine:

                  Break dancing

              • anonymus per Scorilo says

                “Why did the Pentecostal/Charismatic Renewal start in the Protestant Churches? Because He wanted to make us jealous”

                Wrong answer !

                The Charismatic Renewal did not start in the Orthodox Church because the Orthodox Church has 2000 years of experience dealing with deceiving demonic spirits that appear as angels of light to those who are spiritually immature !

                For more info you can read the article by Fr. Serafim Rose of blessed memory

                or a more recent sermon by Fr. John Peck

      • Monk James says

        Constaninos says:

        April 14, 2018 at 4:51 am

        Actually, if the Catholic Church wants to truly be ecumenical, they should return the Shroud to the Ecumenical Patriarch. The Holy Shroud was kept in the Hagia Sophia for nearly two hundred years until the sack of Constantinople. The crusaders stole the Shroud at this time.
        Also, Orthodox iconography depicting Christ leaving the tomb are beautiful, pious- and historically inaccurate. The angel did not roll the stone away to allow Christ to exit the tomb, but to prove that it was empty. Christ was already outside the tomb and walking around. The Lord has risen!

        Christ is risen, truly risen!

        Perhaps the holy shroud would best be relocated to Jerusalem, and kept in or near the tomb of our Lord Jesus Christ so that the faithful might venerate them both.

        I fondly remember a child — perhaps repeating something he learned in church school — telling the parish that the stone wasn’t rolled away from the Lord’s tomb to let Him out, but to let us in to see that He had risen.

  9. Gail Sheppard says


    With regard to your first point: The Code of Jewish Law states that the one killed should be buried in a single, plain sheet of linen. In terms of the Roman soldiers, I find what they *didn’t* see, compelling. If the body was removed they would have reported it. Plus, you have the 40 day period afterward where Christ was seen.

    With regard to your second point: There are a number of references to the shroud prior to the thirteenth century. “Very briefly, such data includes a few historical citations of the shroud, one as early as the second century (Braulio of Seville), a sermon concerning it given by a church official, and paintings of Jesus’ face that, after an apparent rediscovery of the shroud, were plainly based on it even down to the exact position of numerous bruises. Additionally a detailed and very intriguing early Christian tradition exists that asserts that a mysterious cloth containing the imprint of Jesus’ face had been carried by Thaddeus, Jesus’ disciple, to Edessa, a small kingdom in what is today Turkey. After a stay of several hundred years it was moved to the city of Constantinople. From here its modern history is well known as it was taken to several cities in France and then to Turin, Italy.

    Not only do such historical citations dating from the second century, a sermon, these paintings and this Christian tradition exist, but there is also scientific data to confirm this historical movement of the shroud. Recent research by Swiss botanist Max Frei located pollen on the shroud from both Turkey and Palestine. In fact, at least six species of pollen were found on this linen cloth, which were limited almost exclusively to Israel. Since the shroud has not been out of France or Italy since about the fourteenth century, it must have been in Turkey and Israel earlier. At the very least there is interesting corroboration here of the early historical references to the shroud and especially to the probability of its general route from Israel to Turkey to France and Italy. We now have enough historical data to refute historical agnosticism concerning the shroud.”

    • The specific weave of the Shroud with prominent blood stains in specific places was found in depiction of shroud in earlier centuries than carbon dating. The image itself is only manifested on a very thin layer atop the surface of the cloth. Could not have been painted with any media or there would be signs of absorption.

      • The “strips” mentioned in Scripture went around the shroud. They were subsequently sewed onto the perimeter of the shroud according to the documentary a “border.”

        • One thing to add, as someone who dabbles with some portrait painting, the image of Christ reveals perfect symmetric proportions of the eyebrows eyes nose on Shroud all very prominent features Leonardo Vermeer Michelangelo cannot paint Renaissance style maybe Titian or Rembrandt, Shroud image to me says Jesus can make it leave a picture of Himself for us.

          • I also remember the Winter Olympic games in Turin. NBC Network however for their coverage called the games “Torino” winter games or “Turino” but not the “Turin Winter Games” which they were, my guess jewish executives at network jewish as they are did not want “Turin” reminding them of the Shroud.

            • Who to blame says

              Nonsensical. “Torino” is Italian for “Turin”. The same as “Roma” is Italian for “Rome.” There is no Jewish executive conspiracy.

              • Not to belabour, but the Olympic Games in Rome for English speaking audience are “The Rome Olympics” not “The Roma Olympics.” At the time I recall NBC Network was called out for going “Italian” it was an anomaly.

          • The facial structure of Christ on the Shroud does
            remind me of one movie actor. Not the ’rounded’
            kind of facial feature of Florentine Renaissance Raphael
            I think Nick Nolte looks a little like Christ’s skull
            dimensions just not nearly nowhere as formidable.
            Rectangular shape of head of Jesus in the Shroud
            very definitely makes Him feel very powerful and authoritative.
            Heavy inset eyes straight long nose all the Apostles
            would of had less prominent physical facial structures.

            • Billy Jack Sunday says


              For some reason, I always get Nick Nolte and Gary Busey mixed up in my mind

              So for a moment there, I was extremely creeped out

              Although I could see Gary Busey do a very impressive [with a bit of poetic license] temple money changer scene in an Easter production

              All the furniture would be violently flipped over, totally destroyed in a corrective barrage screaming rant

              Kinda like how I figure he naturally must be in his trailer on set between shoots

              • I got ya BJS.

                Busey more along the lines like how you have it. Nolte in the same Easter production might be a pretty good ‘Pontius Pilate’ perhaps. Few years back I revisited “King of Kings” with Jeffrey Hunter playing the role of Christ and after many years seeing the movie only remembered from childhood was rather interesting. On western Easter they always have “Ten Commandments” they play every year on ‘rabbit ears’ television “King of Kings” might be one to go back and see again since the 60’s. The narrative of the movie for me watching as an adult was confusing somewhat but the role played by Hunter was kind of like how you may have imagined Jesus in KJ bible.

                • Billy Jack Sunday says


                  In high school I copied an artistic rendering of Christ from a Protestant book – making a pastel chalk portrait

                  Although the original didn’t appear so, mine ended up looking almost exactly like John Ritter

                  It was very strange and very noticeable

                  I intended from the beginning to add the scripture from Revelation, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.”

                  I still did so, not making the connection

                  “Come and knock on our door . . .”

                  True story. No sacrilege intended

                  • Ok, I vaguely remember “Three is Company” but really for me after Bewitched and Lost in Space the next one I watched well after its first few seasons was Cheers. If your rendering looked like “Norm” I might find some difficulty there so otherwise with Ritter and “knock on door” I suppose I have a blank spot there. Alright, now I see on wiki his bio he had misdiagnosis of heart condition that maybe adds up to your premonition if this was an actor you liked and had an “attunement” about him if that is on track or something off anyway I like you made the portrait of Jesus that is an inspirational idea.

  10. Indeed He Is Risen!

    A/E History channel has the documentary:
    “The Real Face of Jesus from the Shroud of Turin”

    Excellent documentary. Among many things it is clear that the image of Christ on the Shroud was never painted by any kind of “media” whether it be a dilute ink or oil pigment or anything else wet with a brush or any other drawing painting implement. It is only the very very most top superficial layer of the Shroud tiny tiny fractions of an inch that contains the known imagery of Christ Jesus. The Image was never “absorbed” into the fabric of the cloth like how it would have been if some kind of painting or drawing media were utilized. Then this very thin layer atop the surface of the Shroud which captures the Image of Jesus modern technological processes have revealed has a Three Dimensional structure, detail revealed to the extent that instrumentation can interpret the Imagery! So there had to of been “something” to have “happened” causing the “imprint” of the Image of Jesus Christ onto the Shroud! .. and of course Christians know for that to have been the Resurrection, the Light, Pascha!

  11. Constantinos says

    To all,
    Please don’t address me again as I have no desire to participate in this form any longer. You’re not going to change my mind about anything, and I’m certainly not going to change anyone else’s. Just let me go in peace.