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RU 15/2007 - OVIEDO/Spain, ARGENTEUIL/France

- OVIEDO / SPAIN: In this old city of pilgrimage in the north of Spain, on the road towards St James of Compostella which is 200 km farther away to the west, a magnificent congress on the Shroud of Oviedo has been held from April 12th to 14th, 2007, with about 250 people attending, amongst them: the King of Spain, the archbishop and the two auxiliary bishops of Oviedo, the mayor of the city, numerous representatives of the clergy, the State, the universities and research laboratories implied in one way or the other over the last 15 years in the studies on this precious Relic of Christ's Passion. This Shroud is considered to have covered the Head of Our Lord during his transfer from the Cross to the Tomb, as it presents important stains of Blood and liquids that can only be explained by a tortured man who has been put to death on the Cross, exactly as it is written in the Gospels. It is the 2nd scientific congress on this Relic, since the one of 1994. The congress took place in the Palace of conventions of the city, with the presentation of excellent scientific works during 3 days, in the setting of a top level organization (all conferences with PC pictures, standardized panels etc.). Numerous coincidences have been demonstrated with the Sindone of Turin, and even with the famous Mandylion in the oriental Christendom. Unfortunately the Tunic of Argenteuil has not been mentioned in the congress, but a delegation of COSTA, apparently the only delegation from France, could distribute to the key persons of the congress a certain number of copies of the recent book published with F.-X. de Guibert in Paris, containing the proceedings of the COSTA symposium of nov. 2005 'The Holy Tunic face to the Science' (in French only). This time the Jacksons from the United States - John Jackson was the president of the famous STURP which, in 1978, had initiated the detailed studyof the Shroud of Turin - were very present during the congress, with their Spanish and Italian colleagues, and presented their very last photographic studies, spectrographic analysis and others (one of the last pictures shown dated from... April 12th, 2007 !). Nothing really new, from the scientific point of view, but this was not the goal of the congress. Between the 28 lecturers, Mr Marc Guscin (Madrid and London), specialist of ancient languages, presented very old documents of Mount Athos, fruit of his own research work there, proving that the oriental Mandylion, of ancient times, concerned 'the complete body of a man', and that this picture contained blood. It's necessary to wait for the publication of the book with the proceedings of this convention, announced for beginning 2008, in order to know the exact details of these interesting findings which seem to prove that the Mandylion of Edessa in the Orient and the Shroud of Turin in the Occident do concern the same holy object. There was also a conference on palinological studies made on the Shroud of Oviedo (Dr Jose Iriarte Chiapusso, of the university of the Basque region), two conferences on the DNA (D. Antonio Alonso Alonso, Bio faculty of INTCF Madrid, and D. Enrique Monte Vazquez, Dr in pharmacy, professor of Microbiology in the university of Salamanca), as well as a conference on the C14 test (Cesare Barta, EDICES), without available written full texts for the meantime. A new test of C14 is said to have proved that the Relic of Oviedo is of the 1st century, and that the Blood found on it, is of the AB group. Studies of the DNA data collected on the Shroud of Oviedo are said to be in progress. About the conservation, they spoke of the project of laying the Relic flat down in a closed container, at an angle of 30 degrees (for ostensions), with regulation of atmosphere, temperature and humidity, in order to transmit it in a perfectly protected way to the following generations, a measure which has already been made in a similar way in Turin (Shroud), Trier (Saint Robe) and Padua (Cassock of St François), but not yet at Argenteuil (Holy Tunic) nor at Oviedo (Shroud of Oviedo). To be noticed the extraordinary support of this congress - and of similar congresses in Turin - by the local clergy, a thing which is not yet acquired for the activities of COSTA for the Holy Tunic in France. One of the most moving moments of the congress of Oviedo happened when the passage of Saint-John's Gospel about the Shroud 'placed folded at a separated place' in the Tomb, was solemnly read, first in Greek, then in English and finally in Spanish, with all peope standing upright in order to listen and to live this intense moment. The other high moment was the benediction of the faithful with the Shroud of Oviedo in the cathedral, on the last day of the congress. It is beautiful to see people who are thankful towards God for his marvels, even in modern Spain. - (ru)


- ARGENTEUIL / FRANCE: In the Basilica of Argenteuil, 10 km north of Paris, is venerated since about the year 800, thanks to Charlemagne, the Holy Tunic worn by O.L. Jesus Christ during his Passion for us, Passion of love which he wanted to suffer until the most horrible death, the one on the cross reserved to the bandits, in order to open up the Heaven for us. It is for the 2nd time this year, on March 25th 2007, 1st Sunday of the Passion, that this ancient pilgrimage to the Holy Tunic, completely forgotten since the Council Vatican II, has been renewed. Pilgrims from the department Val-d'Oise and from the Parisian area participated. AT 3 PM municipal policemen showed up, on the banks of the Seine river, in order to accompany the 340 pilgrims (this is the exact number of distributed copies of chants) through the city center, while arriving towards 4 PM to the Basilica St Denys which shelters the Holy Tunic soaked with Christ's Holy Blood, a Catholic traditional truth which has been confirmed by the last scientific researches on this Tunic (cf. RU 10/2007 of March 9, 2007). Inside the Basilica, the faithful followed a Way of the Cross, while arriving precisely after the 12th station to the lateral chapel containing the shrine of the Holy Tunic, a chapel which has been recently magnificently renewed by a financial effort of the Argenteuil city, the bishopric of Pontoise and the Direction of the Patrimony of Ile-de-France. Between the different stations the choir sang the beautiful verses of the Pergolese chant: 'Jésus Christ monte au Calvaire, il y va pour y mourir" (Christ goes up to Mount Calvary, He is going there to die), a hymn which penetrates as easily into the soul as water into the good earth. The secret tears and confessions near the priests seemed to prove that the Relic is always miraculous, if only there is Faith and Hope, as testify tens of ex-voto plates in the Basilica for the past. Since Charlemagne, such distinguished persons as Saint Louis and Louis XIII prayed there without counting the hours. A choir interpreted an old hymn to the Holy Tunic recovered lately by the COSTA (UNEC) group which has tried since 12 years to re-establish, religiously and scientifically, the truth concerning the Holy Tunic of Argenteuil: "Salut, Robe Sacrée, Ouvrage maternel, de Sang tout empourpré, par le Christ Eternel" (Ave, Sacred Dress, maternal Work, of Blood all flushed, by Eternal Christ). Rev. Fr. Daniel Vigne (FSSPX, from the parish of Conflans Sainte Honorine) animated the prayer of the rosary during the procession through Argenteuil, and Rev. Fr. Philippe Peignot (FSSPX, Ruffec) animated the Way of the Cross, and recited 'the prayer of immemorial times before the Holy Tunic' inside the Basilica. Last year, when for the first time this pilgrimage has been restored, there were 150 faithful, this year they were 340, and for next year the organizers are aiming at 1000, always on the 1st Sunday of the Passion, considering a mobilization of parishes of all of France in order to honor again the most precious treasure which God confided to France: the Tunic of His Son, O.L. Jesus Christ, and to ask there, in front of His Tunic, for our recovery and our Salvation, as did previously the woman in the Gospel who wanted to touch this same Tunic in order to be healed. The Holy Tunic is maybe the only major Relic which is at the same time christic and marial, since, according to the tradition, it has been woven in only one piece by the Most Blessed Virgin Mary for her divine Son. - To note that the Basilica is opened every day for pilgrims and visitors between 3 PM to 5 PM, and during the weekend from 4 PM to 6 PM. If you want to become 'monthly pilgrim', please announce the chosen day of the month to COSTA which will send you the 'pilgrim card'. When there will be 30 monthly pilgrims, that is one person or one family every day of the month, COSTA intends to prepare the restoration of the ancient Confraternity of the Holy Tunic of Argenteuil, previously flourishing, today dead, but maybe tomorrow revied, with God's grace. - If you appreciate the work of COSTA aiming at the restoration of the scientific and religious truth of the Holy Tunic, adhere (or contribute) to the COSTA (UNEC) association, 10 Euro/year (or 13 USD/year); big projects wait for us for the years to come. Informations: COSTA (UNEC), BP 70114, F-95210 Saint-Gratien, T/F +33-(0)1 34 12 02 68,, (category Costa-Coeli). - (ru)



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