17 – Rosslyn
Might it not be possible that the mandylion… is buried under Rosslyn
chapel awaiting discovery at some future time Mark Oxley
On continental Europe, the Mandylion was last seen or heard of in 1287 by the Knights Templar initiate, Arnaut Sabbatier. After this it simply disappeared, more than likely during the fall-out of the Papal persecution of the Templar’s in 1307. Spearheaded by the French king, Philip IV, on Friday 13th of that year (after which it became a most inauspicious day) all the top Templars & scores of others were arrested & most of them later executed upon torture-drawn confessions for mostly made-up misdemeanours. Suddenly the Pope & the King controlled all the Templar lands & finances, which of course was a completely unpredictable bonus.
That the Mandylion was among the Templar Treasures is suggested by the presence of the Mandylion amongst the cornucopian carvings of Rosslyn Chapel. There is a sculptured tableau atop a pillar cornice, on which a headless figure holds up a piece of material sporting the face of Christ. The presence of the Mandylion at Rosslyn would help to explain the mystery behind the chapel’s steps, which were said to have been worn down by pilgrims who had traveled to Rosslyn from northern Spain.
The answer is to be found in the Sudarium of Oviedo, said to be the face cloth used in the burial of Christ. A pilgrim, after seeing the Sudarium, would complete the set so to speak by travelling to Rosslyn to see the other material associated with the death & resurrection of Christ. Mark Oxley writes; ‘Folklore recounts how pilgrims in their thousands traveled there’after completing the arduous trek to the shrine of St James of Compostela.’
Building on Rosslyn chapel officially commenced in 1446, direcetd by local nobleman, Sir William Sinclair. He’d actually had a group of builders & masons on his hands since 1441 – perhaps even to build a secret underground chamber or a tunnel to his castle? I believe that to this day, perhaps in a secret compartment of the chapel’s crypt, or possibly wrapped around the body of on the buried Templars, the Mandylion can still be found at Rosslyn. Way back in 1546, the Queen Regent, Marie Guise, recalls a ‘secret’ shown to her at Rosslyn, while Sir Walter Scott wrote of Knights of the Grail being buried there.
For the moment, all we may do is speculate, for Historic Scotland controls the site & any excavatory work is forbidden. Local project director, Stuart Beattie, says, ‘We are not in the business of being grail hunters at the moment, although I think there are members of the trust and a lot of the public who would like to see invasive investigations. The immediate priority is to focus on conservation work, and then perhaps the trust might turn its attention to more esoteric matters.’