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NEWS CONCERNING THE SHROUD OF TURIN:

An extraordinary ressemblance between the Shroud of Turin
and Masaccio’s painting of the Face of the Father.

It was a Hungarian artist and stamp designer, Ferenc Svindt, who made the discovery that Masaccio’s Face of the Father in a fresco in the Santa Maria Novella convent in Florence and the face of the man on the Shroud of Turin bear an extraordinary ressemblance.

Ferenc Svindt thus produced an " image with two faces " which was issued by the Hungarian postal services at Easter 1999. It is surely the beginning of an adventure of which we have not heard the last. This is how he explains his discovery :
" I was asked to paint a picture to decorate an altar for a big religious meeting, the national Charismatic Renewal meeting in Hungary, where thousands of people were due to come. As I myself am a believer, I prayed with my wife, and my brothers and sisters from the Emmanuel Community, and I thought of painting the Saviour’s face as is seen on the Holy Shroud. During the prayer of praise one morning, I received the following text from the Scriptures : " If I have found grace in your eyes, let me know your ways … " - the Lord says " My face will accompany you … " (Exodus 33 : 13-16).
" At the beginning, I simply had the idea of enlarging a photograph of the Holy Shroud and copying it on cloth, because I did not dare to create a face of Jesus myself. But I quickly realised that it was not possible. "

" I then looked through some art books to see how the great masters of painting had represented the face of Christ. It was then that I discovered an extraordinary ressemblance between the face of God the Father in a fresco painted by Masaccio and the face on the Holy Shroud. It was a fresco representing the Holy Trinity in the Church of Santa Maria Novella in Florence. "

" Later, following a computerised comparative analysis, I was totally astonished because I discovered that not only did the two faces greatly ressemble each other, but their principal traits were practically identical. "

" It is unlikely that Masaccio was able to see the Shroud as at that time (the end of the fourteenth and the beginning of the fifteenth centuries), the Holy Shroud was kept in France, and furthermore, I found no allusion in Masaccio’s biography of a trip to France. Nevertheless, I am convinced that even if he had seen the famous cloth as it was at that time, without the aid of photography, he would only have been able to see an image and a few stains which were hardly visible. I believe that Masaccio’s fresco is a work inspired by the Holy Spirit. On seeing it, I understood that the Father truely revealed Himself in the Son, and by the Holy Spirit, according to the words of Jesus in St. John’s Gospel : " he who has seen me has seen the Father ". On seeing the face of Christ on the Holy Shroud and that of the Father in Masaccio’s painting, the mystery of the unity of the Father and the Son became more real and accessible for me. "

" Now I can thank the Lord for having been able to realise this image with " two faces " . I was asked to design the Easter 1999 stamp for the Hungarian postal services, and I am glad that beyond the stamp itself, this " image with two faces " may be seen by many, and that it may speak to them of the Father and the Son. "

Ferenc Svindt

© Copyright, all rights reserved on image and text, Ferenc Svindt


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