Where was the Shroud between Athens and Lirey?
The best evidence suggests that the Shroud was in France, in the town of Besançon, in the Chateau de Ray sur Saône manor house (pictured), for more than a century before 1350. During this time it was periodically displayed in the city's Cathedral of Saint Etienne at Eastertide. Was it the same shroud?
The connection that suggests that it was is Othon De La Roche, the French Duke of Athens, is admittedly circumstantial. Nonetheless it is a formidable connection: Othon De La Roche acquired the Shroud of Constantinople in 1204, or possibly after it arrived in Athens. He sent the cloth to his home, the chateau de Ray in the Haute-Saône near Besançon. Here it remained until about 1350 when it was acquired by a French knight, Geoffrey de Charney, from the nearby town of Lirey. In 1349. Geoffrey married Jeanne de Vergy, a great-great granddaughter of Othon De La Roche. Because the cloth had always remained civil property, and not property of the church, we can assume that the shroud might have been part of Jeanne’s dowry. In 1355, the shroud was exhibited in a church that Geoffrey built in Lirey.
- Where are the records for the Shroud in Besançon?
- What is the history of the Shroud after Constantinople and before Lirey?