“Relics and lost treasures”: Stories behind the top 5 religious mysteries

Technology maybe be powerful but in the search for lost religious antiquities, most of the time, faith plays a more important role. Countless expeditions and researches have been launched to find the truth to some of the Bible’s religious mysteries. But just like faith, there are some things that are better left unanswered.

Here are the stories behind the 5 most popular religious mysteries:

1. The Holy Chalice and the Holy Grail

The Holy Chalice was the cup used by Jesus during the Last Supper
The Holy Chalice was the cup used by Jesus during the Last Supper | Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia

Often the center of controversies due to its meaning, the Holy Chalice refers to the cup that Jesus drank from during the Last Supper. It is also the same cup that Joseph of Arimathea used to collect Jesus’ blood during his crucifixion.

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The Holy Grail is often used interchangeably with the Chalice. Legends believed that the Holy Grail possesses supernatural powers. It is said that Joseph of Arimathea buried the Grail and on the spot, the water turned red because it traveled through Christ’s blood.

Medieval conquests were launched in search for the coveted cup. The Knights Templar allegedly had a life long vow to protect and keep the Holy Grail.

One infamous story that caused uproar was the book of Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code. It claimed that the Holy Grail was not just a cup but refers to Mary Magdalene. It said that Magdalene carried Christ’s blood because she was Christ’s wife and was pregnant with their daughter named Sara.

2. The Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo

Shroud of Turin
The negative of the Shroud of Turin | Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia

The Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo are two legendary cloths associated to the death of Jesus Christ. The Shroud of Turin is believed to be the burial cloth of Jesus and his image was imprinted on the material after he resurrected.

Much less popular than the Shroud is the Sudarium of Oviedo. It is a smaller piece of cloth that was believed to have been used to wrap around Jesus’ head as he lay in the tomb.

Unlike the Shroud, the Sudarium does not bear an image but tests have stated that the bloodstains on the Sudarium matched to the wounds on the image on the Shroud. Scientists have also matched more than 100 bloodstain locations identical between the Sudarium and the Shroud.

Skeptics have been consistent in disputing the claims calling it a “medieval forgery” but millions of believers still visit the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, Italy to venerate the Shroud.

3. Ark of the Covenant

Ark of the Covenant
The Ark of the Covenant is a gold-covered wooden chest with mythical powers | Photo Courtesy: Christian Headlines

One of the most sought-after religious items is the Ark of the Covenant. Described as a gold-covered wooden chest, it contains the stone tablets of the 10 commandments, Aaron’s rod and a pot of manna.

In the Bible, there have been numerous stories about the miracles made by the Ark. When the Israelites had to cross the Jordan River, it is said that the river stopped flowing once the Ark was set foot on it. When the Israelites reached the walled city of Jericho, they paraded the Ark around the city for a week until the walls fell down and they were able to enter.

When the Babylonian Empire conquered the Israelites, the Ark that was supposedly kept in the Temple of Jerusalem vanished from history.

4. The True Cross

The True Cross
There have been so many pieces of the True Cross worldwide making it hard to test its authenticity | Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia

The True Cross refers to the cross used during Jesus’ crucifixion. It was not written in the Bible what happened to the cross after Jesus’ death. Many believe that it contains miraculous healing powers.

It has been lost for over 3 centuries until Empress Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great, found it. She initially found three crosses and wasn’t sure which one is the True Cross.

According to the book of Judas Cyriacus, they put the crosses to the test by laying them down one by one on the coffin of a dead child. The True Cross was able to bring the child back to life.

Another story by historian Rufinus, said that they laid the crosses next to a dying woman and the True Cross instantly cured her.

Since then, there have been countless of claims about obtaining a piece of the sacred wood but their authenticity have continuously been debated.

5. The Veil of Veronica

The Veil of Veronica
St. Veronica stopped to wipe the blood and sweat from Jesus’ brows | Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia

Although the legend of the Veil of Veronica is quite popular among Catholics, the veil itself is still lost and quite controversial.

The legend stated that during Jesus’ carrying of the cross, Saint Veronica used her veil to wipe the blood and sweat from his brow. When she did, the image of Jesus appeared into the veil.

The Veil of Veronica is believed to have the “Grace of God.” It is said that Veronica presented the veil to Roman Emperor Tiberius. It was used to win wars, cure the blind and the sick and even raise people from the dead.

After the Sack of Rome in 1527, many believed that the Veil was destroyed. However, there are those who strongly believe that the precious veil is being kept hidden by the Vatican along with other sacred and valuable antiquities.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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