Author: Grzegorz Górny and Janusz Rosikon
Publisher: Ignatius Press, San Francisco, Calif., 2013, 336 pp., $34.95 hardcover; 800-651-1531
The history of Christianity has been blessed with the presence of relics of the saints. Without question, however, the greatest of the relics are those traditionally associated with the Passion of Christ. They have long been the source of study, quests, research, controversy and debate. The list of the relics of the Passion is also a surprisingly long one, such as the True Cross, the nails, the crown of thorns, the pillar of scourging, Christ’s tunic, the Veil of Manoppello, the Sudarium of Oviedo and, of course, the famous Shroud of Turin.
Two Poles, writer Grzegorz Górny and photographer Janusz Rosikon investigated the relics associated with the Passion, traveling to museums, archives and churches that all form part of the legacy and history of these relics. The result is an extraordinarily beautiful and elegantly presented study that boasts not only the history of the relics but the work undertaken by scholars and scientists to assess their authenticity.
The book serves as a visual and scholarly travelogue. Most readers will be familiar with the famous relics — the Shroud or the True Cross — but particularly interesting are lesser known ones — for example, the Sudarium (or burial veil) of Oviedo, the Veil of Manoppello and the crown of thorns. There are also chapters on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, the Scala Santa (Holy Stairs) in Rome and the relics of Aachen. All of the relics are worthy of study as all of them help us to turn our prayerful gaze to the passion of Our Lord.