At the Basilica of St. Denis Argenteuil retained a former woolen textile, traditionally revered by the Church as the tunic worn by Christ during his passion. Historic Monument since 1979, is presented in a reliquary-altar also classified.Legend
The shirt was found by St. Helena in the fourth century AD and preserved in Constantinople until the eighth century, when Empress Irene would have offered to pledge allegiance to Charlemagne at his coronation. In 800, Charlemagne was crowned emperor in fact the West by Pope Leo III, in exchange for the restoration of the latter on the papal throne.
He then donated the robe to the monastery of Argenteuil Th?odrade his daughter was abbess in 800. We know from historical sources that it was actually abbess of Argenteuil, but not before 814, year of the death of Charlemagne.
In the twelfth century, it is beginning work in the church, the monks of St. Denis arrived in 1129 in Abbey of Notre-Dame d'Argenteuil have rediscovered the coat in a wall, where it was hidden to be the safekeeping of looting in the ninth century Norman. History
The first mention of the relic authenticated by written records dating back to 1156, shortly after its rediscovery in a papal bull, signed by Hugh of Amiens, archbishop of Rouen and papal legate making its official veneration. A formal recognition takes place the same year, attended by many clergy and King Louis VII.
The tunic was much revered and gave rise to numerous pilgrimages, processions and certificates of miracles, especially in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It was the object of devotion of kings Francis I, Henry III, Louis XIII, Marie de Medici and Anne of Austria, cardinal of Richelieu and Berulle.
During the Revolution, when the Benedictine priory was closed, it was first kept in the parish church and then cut by Mr. Ozette, pastor of the time, and its various pieces buried. They were subsequently collected and resumed pilgrimages and Ostensions, as in 1894, 1900, 1934 and 1984 (the latter attracted thousands of pilgrims).Religious relics
Tunic of Argenteuil is representative of the importance and development of the veneration of relics around the cult of saints, which takes off from the Middle Ages.
This cult goes back to the martyrs of the early centuries, the tombs which had just been praying in honoring them as interlocutors between God and men, and this veneration was soon extended to materials that have been in their possession and their remains (in Latin "reliquiae) body.
The spread of the cult of relics is also linked to the Crusades, which the Crusaders brought back from their stay in the Holy Land numerous material evidence, considered as being authentic and very soon be a lucrative business. The Crusaders left the West and not thinking back often donated their property to the Church. The latter, seeing them return, allows them to market these relics that become sources of revenue for these secular and religious communities for buying them. The cult of relics was indeed a significant economic impact, they were for the abbeys and monasteries that were holding a major source of revenue, which is why counterfeiters quickly exerted themselves to make copies and forgeries.
The relics are considered most valuable are those attributed to Jesus himself, including items related to his passion. Thus, the Sainte Chapelle in Paris was built by Louis IX (St. Louis) to house the relic of the crown of thorns.
This explains the fame of the tunic of Argenteuil and his pilgrimage, from the sixteenth century, who helped develop the city. Scientific Studies
Studies conducted in 2003 by Sophie Desrosiers, specialist antique textiles, and analysis conducted in 2004 at the Laboratory for Measurement of Carbon 14, Saclay, have dated the weaving of the robe of the sixth-seventh centuries AD (between the years 530 and 650 AD.), with a probability of 95.4%.
hese results were made public by the bishop of Pontoise in December 2004.
While it is now possible that the tunic of Argenteuil is the first century and thus contemporary of Christ, it nevertheless retains a certain historical value, even beyond its symbolic, as pointed out Serge Pitiot, Curator Historical Monuments.
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