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Reading the Visage

[...] he was so inhumanly disfigured
that he no longer looked like a man [...]
(Is 52,14)

He was despised, the lowest of men,
a man of sorrows, familiar with suffering,
one from whom, as it were, we averted our gaze,
despised, for whom we had no regard.
(Is 53,3)

This page is intended as a mean to make us familiar with the Visage of the Lord. This person, true man and true God, is the Adonai of Israel, expected from time immemorial by countless generations. His Visage after Passion and crucifixion appeared disfigured to the point that one couldn't even look at, and made the people shudder and cover their face in front of. That very Visage is clearly represented in the Turin Shroud by the blood stains as if impressed by a photographic process in that virgin paper that came to us as the Shroud: that very blood even today light and hope to us all! As we've seen, that image represents a message directed rightly to the "homo informaticus" of our times, since only last-generation technologies such as digital computerized programs are able to read it and unquestionably deny it as human-made. Paradoxically, we are referring to that same technology so often subdued to ideologic pretexts with the aim to negate God or even make fun of Him. But God doesn't reciprocate us our badness, and by the same very technology He given us, to the man lost and missing He leaves again sign after sign to meet Him again.

The following picture was obtained by means of an ad hoc computer program applied to the sindonic image. By this way it was possible to calculate the mathematical correspondence of colors and identify the marks of blood on the Shroud. Then the Visage was made visible in reliev by a light source from the right side:

The Visage clearly visible are here the stains of blood, so as the skin grazed and wounded,

(Click on image to enlarge)

The Visage: blood from the forehead the flood of clotted blood from the forehead,

The Visage: blood from nose the evident blood dropped from the nosetrils,

The Visage: blood on hair blood in large amount curdled on the hair.

Note, in prof. Tamburelli's words:
"The sharp incision of the nose cartilage, the hole on the left cheek, possibly due to the same stroke that injuried the nose and the right cheek."

The Gospel of Matthew 26,67 tells us: "Then they spat in his face and hit him with their fists; others said as they struck him". It's likely that a blow with a stick straight in the face might have literaly severed the cheek and, wounding the nose, snatching away skin and cartilage:

The Visage: laceration to nose and cheek note the deep tear on the nose and the right cheek cut through,

The Visage: graze at left cheekbone the clear graze upon the left cheek-bone.

It was possible to mark the leakage of blood and clots:

The Visage: the trickle from forehead In highlight the blood in large amount flowing from the brow down to the beard:

It is like a fine oil on the head
running down the beard,
running down Aaron's beard

(from Psalm 133)

Oil is a sweet-smelling substance endowed with some medical properties, that permeate tight the skin. A symbol of beauty, joy and prosperity, it's also of sacerdotal consecration, as shown by the call to Aronne, the founder of Jewish priesthood. Christ is the last envoy and the ultimate word of the Father, THE Word of Father. It is in His person that the Israel's priesthood bound to all mankind salvation finds its fulfilment: He is the eternal and highest priest from the beginning and forever. His blood flows from the brow, brow fown to the beard as wealth, as a sweet-smelling ointment, as a balm salvic for everybody: through his bruises you have been healed. (1Pt 2,24)

The Visage: clot on eyelid The blood coming down does a clot on his left eyelid,

The Visage: clot on upper lip flowing along the nose and does another clot on the upper lip,

The Visage and beard then to the lower, where made into two rivulets soaks the beard,

The Visage: clots of forehead notice the puckers of clot on the left eyelid, due to winking.

As we know, a man on the cross couldn't breath unless levering on the legs. So, without a foothold, death came eventually for muscle exhaustion, orthostatic collapse due to the hyperextension of the chest and the ensuing asphyxia. The Holy Shroud shows how the flow of blood on Christ's face changed direction, according to the position of the body, straight when leaning on the legs, abandoned when unsupported.

The Visage: trickle saparates A tiny gush of blood starts oozing also onto the right side of the nose,

Il Volto: trickle coagulates two clots, one on the right edge of the nose, the other on the lip,

The Visage: clot on the right side of the lip the large clot, in clear relief, on the right side of the lip,

The Visage: blood on lip from nostrils note the clot amid the lips and rivulets gushing from the nostrils.

The Visage: the lower lip A clot on the lower lip renders it as if sharp.

From Third Chant of the Servant of the Lord
I have offered my back to those who struck me,
my cheeks to those who plucked my beard;
I have not turned my face away
from insult and spitting.
Lord Yahweh comes to my help,
this is why insult has not touched me,
this is why I have set my face like flint,
and know that I shall not be put to shame.
(Is 50,6-7)
The Visage

The Visage

From Letter of S. Apostle Paul to Philippians - Kenosis Hymn

Make my joy complete by being of a single mind, one in love, one in heart and one in mind. Nothing is to be done out of jealousy or vanity; instead, out of humility of mind everyone should give preference to others, everyone pursuing not selfish interests but those of others. Make your own the mind of Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, did not count equality with God something to be grasped. But he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, becoming as human beings are; and being in every way like a human being, he was humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on a cross. And for this God raised him high, and gave him the name which is above all other names; so that all beings in the heavens, on earth and in the underworld, should bend the knee at the name of Jesus and that every tongue should acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil 2,2-11)

These images bear a faint, but impressive idea of how much the beard and the whole Visage had been sodden with blood. One can even say, that right the blood gave us the clear features, almost a photo rendering, of a dead man on the Linen. Hence, we can truly say that the Holy Visage of the dead Christ had been a mask of blood, disfigured and unrecognizable to the point, to compel people to cover their eyes in front of it:

The Visage: the colored blood The blood, in colour, covers all the Visage.

Isaia's prophetic words are worth reading again:

[...] he was so inhumanly disfigured
that he no longer looked like a man [...]
(Is 52,14)

He was despised, the lowest of men,
a man of sorrows, familiar with suffering,
one from whom, as it were, we averted our gaze,
despised, for whom we had no regard.
(Is 53,3)

The real Visage

Thus really was the Visage of our Lord Jesus Christ

It's our sins that account for the Calvary tragedy. They make Christ into a king wounded, despised, the lowest of men. And we are the ones who, with our sins, bring about that pain, kill the Life and the Trouth, strike God who is Life and the Being in which everything exists. He who is Life, offers it by its person. Though correct, it's not enough saying that "killing is a sin"; more correct is to say, that the sin is a murderer. But He who is the Way, the Truth and the Life cannot be killed! Life and death have engaged in a cosmic duel and the death, any death, was defeated! The pain we cause is won by a greater love! Christ rose from dead! The sin had no final word: Christ's resurrection is resurrection for us already in this lifetime, a sign of the marvellous fate expecting us, a sign of the unbounded love of the Father that He spreads unceasingly upon mankind, through Christ and inside the Church which Christ fully lives in, saying: My sons, listen to my Son, and make again your way toward me, for I love you!