The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is a church, built in the 4th century, in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. According to traditions, the church occupies two of the holiest sites of Christianity:
- Where Jesus was crucified (“Calvary” or “Golgotha”).
- Jesus’s empty tomb, where His Body was placed and resurrected. The tomb is enclosed by an 18th-century shrine called the Edicule.
Within the church proper are the last four (or, by some definitions, five) Stations of the Via Dolorosa, representing the final episodes of Jesus’ Passion. The church has been a major Christian pilgrimage destination since its creation in the fourth century, as the traditional site of the Resurrection of Christ, thus its original Greek name, Church of the Anastasis or Resurrection.
In 2016, restoration works were performed in the Edicule, the shrine that encloses Jesus’ tomb.
For the first time since at least 1555, marble cladding which protected the estimated burial bed of Jesus from vandalism and souvenir takers was removed. On the night of October 28, 2016, the original limestone burial bed was revealed intact. The tomb was resealed shortly thereafter.
What that’s received very little publicity are two discoveries of the scientists who undertook the restoration work on the Edicule.
As recounted by Sylvain Dorient for Aleteia, Nov. 15, 2016:
On October 26, 27 and 28, 2016, the marble slab that covers the tomb of Christ was removed. As the group of scientists and religious authorities had access to the place, rumors immediately began to run around. Some rumors claimed it was possible to perceive a “sweet aroma” emanating from the tomb, reminiscent of the olfactory manifestations commonly associated with both Marian and saintly apparitions. Secondly, it was alleged that some of the measuring instruments used by scientists were altered by electromagnetic disturbances. As soon as they were placed vertically on the stone in which Christ’s body rested, the devices either malfunctioned or ceased to work at all. […]
The [electromagnetic] phenomenon was confirmed by one of the scientists authorized to access the tomb. Later, one of the heads of the building and construction team, Antonia Moropoulou, indicated that it is really hard to imagine that someone would be willing to put in danger his or her reputation just because of a “publicity stunt.”
Antonia Moropoulou is the Vice Rector of Academic Affairs of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), and a Chemical Engineer, Dr., and Professor at NTUA’s School of Chemical Engineering.
Dorient noted that during the last partial opening of the Edicule made by the architect Nikolaos Komnenos in 1809, the chronicler also made mention of a “sweet aroma” — the “scent of sanctity” that often accompanies the recounting of Marian apparitions and the tombs of some saints.
On the electromagnetic disturbance experienced by the scientists, uCatholic writes:
The observation of these unusual electromagnetic anomalies at the tomb of Jesus may lend credence to a scientific hypothesis on the creation of the ghostly image on the Shroud of Turin. Italy’s National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development [ENEA] concluded during a five-year-long study that the Shroud of Turin could not be a ‘medieval fake’. The findings of ENEA study hypothesized that the image may have been created by an intense source of light, stronger than could be created by any technology currently available to man. The results of ENEA “show that a short and intense burst of VUV directional radiation can color a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin, including shades of color, the surface color of the fibrils of the outer linen fabric, and the absence of fluorescence”. . . . But “the total power of VUV radiations required to instantly color the surface of linen that corresponds to a human of average height, body surface area equal to = 2000 MW/cm2 17000 cm2 = 34 thousand billion watts makes it impractical today to reproduce the entire Shroud image using a single laser excimer, since this power cannot be produced by any VUV light source built to date (the most powerful available on the market come to several billion watts )”.
“An intense source of light, stronger than could be created by any technology currently available to man” . . . “a short and intense burst of VUV directional radiation” . . . .
VUV is vacuum ultra-violet, a type of electromagnetic radiation.
Imagine how powerful the radiation burst of the Resurrection must have been to leave electromagnetic traces after more than 2,000 years — traces that were detected by those scientists restoring the Edicule in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Year of Our Lord 2016.
Dr. Eowyn’s post first appeared at Fellowship of the Minds