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The legend of one of the relics of the Catholic Church is the “Velo de Verónica” or simply known, “Velo de Verónica”. This piece of cloth is believed to be the actual face of Jesus Christ before he was crucified on the way to the cross. According to legend, a woman had given a cloth to Christ so that she could wipe her face on the cloth creating an impression of his face on the cloth. But does this cloth show the true face of Jesus?

The Bible never refers to such an event, nor to any woman named “Veronica” which supposedly means “True Icon” in Latin. Furthermore, this cloth does not show any sign of blood that Jesus had imprinted on his face. However, there is a cloth, which was folded on one side of Christ’s shroud, which is referred to in the Book of John 20:6-7:

“Then Simon Peter came following him, and entered the tomb, and saw that the sheets were on, and the shroud that was on his head, was not lying with the sheets, but was wrapped in a separate place.” (RSV).

The Vulgate Bible refers to the “napkin” as the “sudarium”, which literally means “sweat cloth” in Latin. According to ancient Hebrew law, if a person dies and the face appears beyond recognition, he must cover himself with a cloth on the way to the grave.

Christ’s need to wear a sweat began when Roman soldiers beat him and pushed down a thick crown of sharp thorns that clung tightly around his head. His face would have been covered in blood from the thorns that pierced deep into the skin on his head. Blood would have run down his face from his head in large quantities, already rendering him unrecognizable.

Many hours later, as he hung on the cross, his body shed much more blood. Her arms were outstretched and up on the cross. Also, his feet were nailed together, so she couldn’t get up to breathe without feeling a lot of pain. As a result, his lungs filled with edema causing him to suffocate. After exhaling his last breath, he was taken down from the cross. Then, blood mixed with edema came out of his nose and the shroud was used to catch both fluids as someone evidently tried to staunch him. As a result, two large blood stains appeared on the cloth. In addition, the shroud soaked up the blood that had already covered his face from the crown of thorns pushed against his head by Roman soldiers, causing pinpricks of blood to appear from the top of his head.

According to historical documents, the shroud had been in Jerusalem before AD 600. It was brought to Spain where it was housed in various locations. During the 9th century AD he arrived at the Cathedral of Oviedo and has remained there ever since.

It should be made very clear that the “Sudarium of Oviedo”, not Veronica’s veil, is the “other” cloth that was found in Christ’s tomb after he rose from the dead.

The “Veil” offered to Christ to wipe His face as He walked to the cross, by a woman named Veronica, is highly unlikely to be the “cloth” found in the tomb. Nowhere in the Bible is this story of Veronica mentioned. In fact, it looks like a poor drawing of the face of Christ. Also, Jesus would have bled on the veil, but there is no blood that can be counted. On the other hand, since the Shroud is mentioned in the Book of John, it is an actual Biblical artifact. Clearly, blood, edema and sweat stain it from the body of Jesus crucified. Furthermore, the blood has been forensically analyzed with the Shroud of Turin and found to come from the same body: the body of Jesus.

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