A Templar Mandylion in Brittany (France)
Following the trail of the Templars, a discovery is made on the Shroud of Turin

In the region of Plomodiern (South Finistere, France), near a Templar chapel called « Sainte-Marie du Menez-Hom », a very strange wayside cross is to be found in a field named in Breton (dialect spoken by inhabitants of Brittany): « Croas Rhu » which means « Red-Cross Field ». According to legend, this cross was erected on the site of a treasure buried by the Templars before the annihilation of their Order between 1307 and 1314, during the reign of Philippe Le Bel.

This Templar cross is mentioned in the French book « Les Sites Templiers de France » (The Templar Sites of France) published in 1997 by « Editions Ouest-France ». Following this trail, François Gazay discovered, in September 2001, a Templar Mandylion on this cross located in the Menez-Hom region.

This strange monument is difficult to find. It is hidden in a thickly forested area, situated in an inconspicuous field near an unremarkable road leading to the « Sainte Marie du Menez-Hom » chapel. The location of the cross would have been untraceable for François Gazay without the valuable help of two inhabitants of Plomodiern, members of the association working for the renovation of the « Sainte Marie du Menez-Hom » chapel.

What is the link between Brittany and the Shroud of Turin ?
In several Mediterranean countries, the Shroud of Turin is also known as  « The Mandylion ». This name was used throughout Antiquity and the Middle Ages to designate this mysterious object. After 10 years of on-site research on the official and secret travels of the  Mandylion, in Greece, Cyprus, Istanbul, the Middle East, France and Italy, François Gazay notes that the word « Mandylion » is frequently used in documents relating to this object.

Before its arrival in Italy on 14 September 1578, the « Mandylion » had fantastic adventures. Throughout part of those adventures, as explained in François Gazay's Turin Shroud CD-ROM, the Templars possessed the Shroud and secretly worshipped it as it traveled through Greece, Cyprus, Acre and France.

The strange Templar cross at Red-Cross Field (Brittany, France)

During the famous and terrible trial of Philippe Le Bel against the Temple Order, several Templars confessed they adored a mysterious and bearded « head » during their secret ceremony of initiation. This fact is written in the minutes of this trial stored in the Secret Records of the Vatican and analyzed in the French book « l'Assassinat programmé des Templiers » written by Jacques Rolland and published in 2000 by « Editions de La Table d'Emeraude ».

This mysterious head venerated by the Templars is probably the Mandylion. During its secret journey with the Templars, the Mandylion (which was not yet called « the Shroud of Turin ») was folded 8 times over and only the « head » was displayed in the center of a strange landscaped frame about 100 cm long by 50 cm high, that is to say a 2:1 dimensional ratio

In fact, the unfolded Mandylion is a very large piece of linen measuring 4 x 1 meters revealing the inexplicable frontal and dorsal imprints of the body of a man.

Only the head was displayed in a landscaped frame when the Mandylion was folded

On the other side of the wayside cross at « Red-Cross Field », François Gazay was surprised to see a sculpted and landscaped stone frame showcasing a mysterious head. The dimensional ratio between height and width was identical to the frame of the Mandylion when it was folded (2:1 ratio).

The opposite figure shows this mysterious head with its strange landscaped frame.

How old is the Templar Mandylion 
of « Sainte Marie du Menez-Hom » ?
According to the book published by Editions Ouest-France, « Sainte Marie du Menez-Hom » is a Templar chapel. That means this site was built prior to the period between 1307 and 1314 corresponding to the trial against the Temple Order, its dissolution and the execution of the last Grand Master, Jacques de Molay, burnt alive at the stake.

According to the Brittany Website « Inet-Bretagne », the chapel enclosure dates back to 1544, the inside of the chapel is dated 1570, and the construction of the chapel tower started in 1663.

Templar Mandylion discovered in Brittany (France) 
in September 2001

The Brittany Guidebook published by Michelin (1990 edition) does not mention the date of construction of the chapel, however the monumental semi-circular porch of the chapel enclosure is dated 1739.

So, what is the construction date of the Templar Mandylion discovered in Red-Cross Field ? As always, when one becomes interested in the Turin Shroud and its history with the Templars, one is plunged into an enigmatic universe… We shall try to find this date by examining the Templar cross closely.

This cross is quite different from the others. When you walk around it, you can see the Templar Mandylion in its strange landscaped frame. The 2:1 ratio between width and height of its frame is identical to the dimensional ratio of the Mandylion frame when it was folded into 8 layers. As written by Ian Wilson in his book « The Shroud of Turin » published in 1978, this landscaped portrayal contrasts with the usual artistic convention of that time period, consisting in painting a portrait in a vertical frame and a landscape in a horizontal frame.

Why did the sculptor of this Templar cross feel the need to show this head in a large horizontal frame exhibiting empty space on the left and right ? It's very probable that the sculptor was a Templar monk who had seen the « head » with his own eyes during a secret templar ceremony of initiation and that the sculpture reflected his vision.

The suggestive name « Chamber of Red Monks », given to the unusual sacristy (see opposite photo) of Sainte Marie du Menez-Hom, suggests that some centuries ago this site was occupied by Templar Monks of the "Red Cross", identified by a red cross embroidered onto the front of their tunics.

Is it a Templar site older than the present chapel « Sainte Marie du Menez-Hom » ?
Made in 1357, a lead pilgrimage brooch, stored under reference 4752 in the Cluny Museum of Paris (France), shows the Mandylion completely unfolded. The frontal and dorsal views of the tortured victim are displayed as they were to the pilgrims when the Shroud was exhibited in Lirey en Champagne (France). The existence of this brooch suggests that the Templar Mandylion of Red-Cross Field dates back to a time prior to this pilgrimage, therefore prior to 1357. This is because it depicts only the « head », the rest of the body being concealed behind the frame due to the 8-layered folding of the Shroud. Consequently, this Templar Mandylion, and perhaps the « Chamber of Red Monks », could be much older than the chapel itself which was built or modified between 1544 and 1739.

Other clues, described in the CD-ROM « The Mandylion, a 2000-year-old enigma » reinforce the idea that the « head » of Red-Cross Field is really a stone-sculpted portrayal of the Mandylion probably made in the beginning of the 14th century A.D., when the Temple Order was persecuted and then dissolved by the French King Philippe Le Bel and Pope Clement V.

Chamber of Red Monks of Sainte Marie du Menez Hom
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More about ...
    The Author ...      François Gazay, over 35 years in electronic and computer communication 
    The Investigation ...   A short sample of the CD-ROM's contents (diaporamas, documents, software)