The Definitive Shroud of Turin FAQ

the shroud draws you in, doesn't let go, and reveals itself gradually

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Geoffrey de Charny

Geoffrey de CharnyGeoffrey de Charny, (1300? - 1356) a French knight in the service of John II of France, is the earliest identified Western European owner of the Shroud from extant Western European records. However, it is likely that is was owned by the descendents of Othon de la Roche of Besançon between approximately 1204 to 1349.

Geoffrey (also Geoffroi) was one of the most famous knights and distinguished knights of the Hundred Years War, surpassed in fame perhaps only by England's Black Prince.

Around 1350, he wrote. Livre de chevalerie (Book of Chivalry), a book that today gives us one of the best pictures of knighthood during this era.

Also around 1350, he wrote to Pope Clement VI stating that he intended to build a church at Lirey, France, to honor the "Holy Trinity" who answered his prayers for a miraculous escape while a prisoner of the English. By then, he is probably in possession of the Shroud, which some believe he acquired in Constantinople. It is more likely that he acquired it about the time he married Jeanne de Vergy, a great-great-great granddaughter of Othon.

Large crowds of pilgrims visited the church at Lirey to view the Shroud. Special souvenir medallions were struck to commemorate the exhibitions.  A surviving specimen that may be found at the Cluny Museum in Paris.

Geoffrey de Charny was killed in 1356 by the English at the Battle of Poitiers, fighting at the side of the King of France.

The Shroud remained in the de Charny family for about a century until it passed into the hands of the House of Savoy. It remained the personal property of the Savoy family until well into the 20th century.

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