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Seamless robe of Jesus

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Seamless robe of Jesus

Pilgrims view one of the claimed Seamless Robes (Trier, April 2012).
Collar-less neck of the Seamless robe of Jesus

The Seamless Robe of Jesus (also known as the Holy Robe, the Holy Tunic, the Honorable Robe, and the Chiton of the Lord) is the robe said to have been worn by Jesus during or shortly before his crucifixion. Competing traditions claim that the robe has been preserved to the present day. One tradition places it in the Cathedral of Trier, another places it in Argenteuil, and several traditions claim that it is now in various Eastern Orthodox churches.


  • Bible passage 1
  • Trier tradition 2
  • Argenteuil tradition 3
  • Eastern traditions 4
  • See also 5
  • Notes 6
  • External links 7

Bible passage

According to the Gospel of John, the soldiers who crucified Jesus did not divide his tunic after crucifying him, but cast lots to determine who would keep it because it was woven in one piece, without seam. A distinction is made in the New Testament Greek between the himatia (literally “over-garments”) and the seamless robe, which is chiton, (literally “tunic” or “coat”).

“Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments (ta himatia) and divided them into four parts, to every soldier a part, and the coat (kai ton chitona). Now the coat was without seam, woven whole from the top down. Therefore, they said among themselves, let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it will become. Thus the saying in Scripture was fulfilled: they divided My raiment (ta imatia) among them, and upon My vesture (epi ton himatismon) did they cast lots” (John 19:23-24; quoting the Septuagint version of Psalm 21 [22]:18-19).

Trier tradition

Sections of taffeta and silk on the right sleeve of the robe (Trier,14 April 2012)

According to legend, Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, discovered the seamless robe in the Holy Land in the year 327 or 328 along with several other relics, including the True Cross. According to different versions of the story, she either bequeathed it or sent it to the city of Trier, where Constantine had lived for some years before becoming emperor. (The monk Altmann of Hautvillers wrote in the 9th century that Helena was born in that city, though this report is strongly disputed by most modern historians.)

Holy Tunic, Stamp 1959

The history of the Trier robe is certain only from the 12th century. On May 1, 1196,  

This article incorporates text from a publication now in the

  • Official Site of the Holy-Robe-Pilgrimage 2012/Die Heilig-Rock-Wallfahrt (German)
  • Der Heilige Rock (German)
  • The Placing of the Honorable Robe of the Lord at Moscow Orthodox synaxarion
  • Texts on Wikisource:
    • "Holy Coat".  
    • "Holy Coat".  

External links

  1. ^ a b c d Nickell, Joe (2007). Relics of the Christ. University Press of Kentucky. p. 104.  
  2. ^ Albert P Schimberg. The Story of Therese Neumann. Bruce Publishing Co, Milwaukee, WI, 1947. p.14
  3. ^ Robe at the Internet Movie Database; Retrieved on November 20, 2006.


See also

The Russian Orthodox Church commemorates the Placing of the Honorable Robe of the Lord at Moscow on July 10 (July 25 N.S.). At Moscow annually on that day, the robe is solemnly brought out of the chapel of the Apostles Peter and Paul at the Dormition cathedral, and it is placed on a stand for veneration by the faithful during the divine services. After the Divine Liturgy the robe is returned to its former place. Traditionally, on this day the propers chanted are of “the Life-Creating Cross”, since the day on which the relic was actually placed was the Sunday of the Cross, during Great Lent of 1625.

Later, two portions of the robe were taken to Saint Petersburg: one in the cathedral at the Winter Palace, and the other in Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral. A portion of the Robe was also preserved at the Cathedral of the Dormition in Moscow, and small portions at Kiev’s Sophia Cathedral, at the Ipatiev monastery near Kostroma and at certain other old temples.

A portion of the himation was also brought to Georgia, but it was placed in the treasury of the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, where it remained until the seventeenth century. Then the Persian Tsar Michael Feodorovich, the Shah sent the robe as a gift to Patriarch Philaret (1619–1633) and Tsar Michael in 1625. The authenticity of the robe was attested by Nectarius, Archbishop of Vologda, by Patriarch Theophanes of Jerusalem and by Joannicius the Greek. Reports also circulated at that time of miraculous signs being worked through the relic.

According to the tradition of the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral. The feast day in honor of the “Chiton of the Lord” is celebrated on October 1.

The Eastern Orthodox Church has also preserved a tradition regarding the clothing of Jesus which was divided among the soldiers after the crucifixion.

Eastern traditions

The earliest document referring to the robe at Argenteuil dates from 1156, written by Archbishop Hugh of Rouen. He described it, however, as the garment of the child Jesus. A long-running dispute claims that the Argenteuil cloth is actually not the seamless robe worn by Jesus during the crucifixion, but the garments woven for him by the Virgin Mary and worn his entire life. Advocates of the theory that the Argenteuil cloth is the seamless robe claim that the Trier robe is actually Jesus's mantle.[1]

According to the Argenteuil tradition, the Empress Irene made a gift of the seamless robe to Charlemagne in about the year 800. Charlemagne gave it to his daughter Theocrate, abbess of Argenteuil,[1] where it was preserved in the church of the Benedictines. In 1793, the parish priest, fearing that the robe would be desecrated in the French Revolution, cut the robe into pieces and hid them in separate places. Only four of the pieces remain. They were moved to the present church of Argenteuil in 1895.

Argenteuil tradition

The relic is normally kept folded in a reliquary and cannot be directly viewed by the faithful. In 1512, during an Imperial Diet, Emperor Maximilian I demanded to see the Holy Robe which was kept in the Cathedral. Archbishop Richard von Greiffenklau arranged the opening of the altar that had enshrined the tunic since the building of the Dome and exhibited it. The people of Trier heard about that and demanded to see the Holy Robe. Subsequently pilgrimages took place at irregular intervals to view the garment: 1513, 1514, 1515, 1516, 1517, 1524, 1531, 1538, 1545, 1655, 1810, 1844, 1891, 1933, 1959, 1981, 1996, and 2012. The 1844 exhibition of the relic, on the instructions of Wilhelm Arnoldi, Bishop of Trier, led to the formation of the German Catholics (Deutschkatholiken), a schismatic sect formed in December of that year under the leadership of Johannes Ronge. The 1996 exhibition of the tunic was seen by over one million pilgrims and visitors. Since then, the Bishopric of Trier has conducted an annual ten-day religious festival called the “Heilig-Rock-Tage”.

[2] of Konnersreuth declared that the Trier robe was authentic.Therese Neumann The stigmatist [1].carbon dating The few remaining original sections are not suitable for [1]

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