The Sudarium

The Sudarium
The Sudarium is a 33” x 21” handkerchief used to cover the face of criminal immediately after death. This was allowed by the Romans because upon death the criminals debt was considered paid and the family need suffer no more from the shame of having a family member as a criminal that was crucified naked.

The Sudarium was the “other cloth” that was lying folded in the corner of the tomb when Peter and John entered the tomb.

The history of the Sudarium is clearer than the history of the shroud:
  • Years 33-614  The Sudarium remained in Jerusalem until Jerusalem was sacked in 614
  • 614-615  It was in Alexandria until it was about to be sacked
  • 615  It entered Spain in Cartagena
  • 615  It was taken to Seville
  • 657–718  It was taken to Toledo
  • 718-present  It was taken to Oviedo where it has remained to this day.

The Sudarium contains AB+ blood, perspiration, and pleural fluid.

It shows 3 positions for the head:
  1. Vertical from the time Jesus died until He was taken down from the cross.
  2. 45 degree angle for about an hour as He was laid in his mother’s arms after being removed from the cross and before being taken to the tomb.
  3. Horizontal as he was laid in the tomb.
There are 148 matches between the man in the shroud and the man whose head was covered by the sudarium. (It only requires 48 matches to be considered a match in a modern day court of law.)

The Sudarium was wrapped around the head as shown below:

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