The Lirey Shroud Mystery

A Jean Bellimont novel

By Trevor Whitton

Copyright 2012 Trevor Whitton

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With thanks and due recognition to Joe Nicholl ("Relics of the Christ"), and Mark Oxley ("The

Challenge of the Shroud History, Science, and the Shroud of Turin").

A shroud bearing the image of a crucified man was placed on view in the small church of Lirey, several miles to the south of Troyes, in 1357. The church had been founded 4 years earlier by the celebrated Knight Geoffroy de Charny, son of Jean de Charny (Lord of Lirey) and author of three works on chivalry. It is believed that he donated the cloth to the dean of the proposed abbey, and soon the artefact was attracting pilgrims from far and wide across France and adjacent Burgundy. The phenomenon was such that the event was commemorated by a medallion (one of which survives to this day and is exhibited in the Cluny museum, Paris) and eventually attracted the ire of the nearby Bishop of Troyes, Henri de Poitiers. Henri launched a lengthy and well documented investigation, concluding that the so-called relic was, in fact, a fake. When he tried to have the offending article confiscated, the dean had it hidden away (it is presumed by its owner, Geoffroy de Charny).

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