The icon of Christ Acheiropoietos shown to the left is venerated each year on the first Sunday of Lent when the Orthodox Church celebrates the historic victory of Orthodoxy over the iconoclasts (11 March 843). One of the first things the Church takes care of is to honor the Mother of God : "The indescribable Word of the Father becomes describable when it is incarnated in You, Mother of God" (see The Veneration of the Mother of God by the Orthodox Church).
The history of the icon of Christ "not made by hand" goes back to a miracle that Jesus performed for king Abgar of Edessa when, at the king's request, Jesus restored the king's health by sending him an imprint of his Holy Face on a linnen cloth.
Holy Shroud of Turin one and the same?
For many years I wondered about this miracle. If it was to be believed, then what happened to this linnen cloth with Jesus' Holy image? Did it still exist? If so, then where was it being kept? And why did I never hear about it? And if it exists, then what about the Holy Shroud of Turin? Are there 2 Holy images of Christ's Face? Or if there is only one, then which is the real one?
Recently, at least some of my questions got answered. When browsing the web I came across some articles in which it was mentioned that the Cloth of Edessa with the Holy Image of Christ had been kept in Constantinople, that it went lost at the time of the Fourth Crusade, i.e. when Constantinople was sacked, and that some time after that the Holy Shroud of Turin turned up in France.
Assuming for a moment that the above mentioned events are proven facts, could it be that the Holy Cloth of Edessa and the Holy Shroud of Turin are one and the same? Some researchers are suggesting it is. I don't know whether all questions in this regard have been answered or not, but I am happy to see that researchers are addressing the issue, i.e. any possible relationship between the Cloth and the Shroud. More detailed accounts of this can be found in the articles (links) that follow.
The Image of Edessa (2) http://www.answers.com/topic/image-of-edessa
Could the Mandylion and the Shroud be the same cloth?
Reflections on the Shroud http://www.ssjohn.org/Articles/Spirituality/05.html
The complete story of the healing of king Abgar of Edessa by a miracle performed by Jesus by sending the king an imprint of his Holy Face on a linnen cloth http://www.byzantinesacredart.com/mandylion.html
(Svetlana Novko, Byzantine Sacred Art)
Jesus in Art - Implications in the Quest for the Historical Jesus http://www.historicaljesusquest.com/jesus-in-art.htm
Also the references at the bottom of the article are very interesting, notably :
The Sudarium of Oviedo in the Quest for the Historical Jesus http://www.historicaljesusquest.com/sudarium.htm
Mandylion - not by hand (Google Search) http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=mandylion+not+by+hand
Holy Mandylion (Google Search) http://www.google.com/search?q=holy+mandylion&hl=en&lr=&start=10&sa=N