April 6, 2009

Shroud of Turin hidden by Knights Templar

Research suggests the Shroud of Turin -- said to be Jesus' burial cloth -- was hidden by medieval knights for more than a century, the Vatican said Sunday.

The Vatican's weekly newspaper said a researcher in the Vatican Secret Archives has found a document that suggests the shroud was hidden by the Knights Templar and secretly venerated for more than 100 years after the Crusades, The Times of London reported Monday.

The newspaper said the shroud disappeared in 1204 during the Fourth Crusade and was not seen by anyone outside the order until the middle of the fourteenth century.

Researcher Barbara Frale told the Vatican's L'Osservatore Romano that the missing years had long puzzled historians. The findings are based on a document in which a young Frenchman who entered the order in 1287 testified that he was instructed to venerate the shroud during his initiation, Frale said.