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What Happened to The Robe of Jesus?

Updated on February 9, 2017
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Mona writes a column for Enrich Magazine which is distributed in five countries. She is interested in learning as she writes.

An alleged piece of the Robe of Christ in Yaroslavl city.
An alleged piece of the Robe of Christ in Yaroslavl city. | Source

Have you ever read the novel, The Robe, written by Lloyd C. Douglas? A movie was created in 1953 based on it, starring Richard Burton, Victor Mature and Jean Simmons.

The story takes an interesting point of view: That of one of the soldiers, Marcellus (Richard Burton), who nailed Jesus to the cross and later, wins the robe.

Marcellus has a slave, Demetrius (Victor Mature). When Marcellus tries to wear the robe he experiences great pain and commands Demetrius to remove it. Demetrius, on learning that Marcellus nailed Jesus to the cross, says he’ll never work for him again, and leaves with the robe.

Eventually Marcellus and Demetrius meet again; and Marcellus becomes a Christian. The Robe uses this story line with the historical persecution of Christians as a backdrop. Through the story, the author tries to explain why Christians were so willing to die for their faith.

The robe of Jesus in Tier was displayed last year and some 700,000 believers came to see it. They claim to have experienced miracles because of it.
The robe of Jesus in Tier was displayed last year and some 700,000 believers came to see it. They claim to have experienced miracles because of it. | Source

Where is the authentic robe?

In the movie the robe was a beautiful, red piece of cloth. But there are several cathedrals in Europe that claim to have the authentic robe, or at least parts of it. One is the Cathedral in Trier, which claims that the robe was given to them by Helena, mother of Constantine, Rome’s first Christian Emperor. Helena, the legend says, found the robe in Israel in 327. However, the robe was never scientifically dated, according to the Huffington Post, so it hasn’t been proven to be genuine.

The robe in the Benedictine church in Argenteuil

Another robe is in the Benedictine church in Argenteuil. This garment is more reddish, however. Those who advocate the robe in Trier say that the garment is actually a mantle of Jesus. The robe was brought to Argenteuil by Charlemagne. In 1156 the Archbishop Hugh of Rouen testified, along with other bishops and abbots, that the garment is genuine. They claimed that the garment in Trier was actually the outer garment of Jesus.

During the French revolution the robe was transferred to the Benedictine parish church in 1793. The priest cut it into pieces and hid the pieces in different places. In 1795 four pieces were found and brought back to the church, according to newadvent.org.

Robe of Jesus

The robe in Russia

A third version states that portions of the genuine robe of Jesus are in Russia. There are two versions of how the robe reached Russia. One is that the soldier who won the robe was Georgian and brought the robe back with him. Another version is that a Jew named Elias from Iberia, Georgia, happened to be in Jerusalem when Jesus was crucified. He became a Christian and purchased the robe from the soldier. He then brought it back with him. The robe was placed in a church in Georgia until the 17th century.

During the Persian invasion of Georgia, Tsar Mikhail Fydorovich of Russia protected King Teimuraz of Georgia. The robe became a bargaining point. The Shah said he would give the garment to the Russian Tsar. A portion of the robe was kept in the Dormition Cathedral in Moscow and another portion was kept in the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul until 1917. The noble Pushkin family in Russia also managed to access a portion of the robe.

Under communist rule in May 1922, many cathedrals became museums and church valuables were confiscated. Portions of the alleged robe were hidden in museums under different names with different histories attached to them. In this way, they were preserved. Today, one part of the robe is in Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral, another in Sophia Cathedral, Kiev; another in the Cathedral of the Dormiton, Moscow; another in St. Petersberg’s cathedral, and other parts are in old temples.

The church of St. Peter and Paul is so lovely, I'd like to visit it, whether or not it has the authentic robe.
The church of St. Peter and Paul is so lovely, I'd like to visit it, whether or not it has the authentic robe. | Source

The Pushkin robe

What about the Pushkin portion of the robe? It was kept in an amulet and passed down through generations to son Alexander Pushkin, then to granddaughter Elena Alexsandrovna von der Rozenmayer who moved to Nice, France. When she died in 1942 nothing was known about the Pushkin relic, according to Pravmir.com.

Who is to say whether any of these garments are authentic? I am neither Catholic nor Russian Orthodox but I respect their faiths. I also enjoyed the movie and the book very much.

Here’s a video of a church that has one of the robes mentioned in the article. The architecture and the place itself is very beautiful. The language isn't English but you can appreciate the robe and the surrounding area.

Pilgrimage to the Lord Heaton 2012

Harry Belafonte song

I think this song by Harry Belafonte sort of fits the mood of the story. Besides, you can never go wrong with a Belafonte song.

Belafonte: Take My Mother Home

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    • grand old lady profile image
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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 months ago from Philippines

      Hi Kosmo, thank you for reading this article, even if you are a skeptic. We should all be critical thinkers.

    • Kosmo profile image

      Kelley 2 months ago from California

      Reading about religious relics is always fun. Of course, few if any of them are genuine, such as the Shroud of Turin, which is almost certainly a fake, though some people remain convinced of its authenticity. As for the robe of Jesus, this is probably just another Christian myth, and a wonderful idea for a religious novel or movie. You're right - I'm definitely a great skeptic regarding such matters!

    • grand old lady profile image
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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 9 months ago from Philippines

      Hi RichaWriter, I wrote this because when I was little there was this movie, The Robe which was very good. I like the way you look at your faith. I used to be a Catholic, but now as a non-Catholic, I think the robe would matter to me because it belonged to Jesus. Your comment about how a religion would value a piece of clothing, however, gives me greater appreciation for the Catholic faith. Thank you for sharing your thoughtful perceptions and your faith.

      Hello Vinicius, thank you so much for the advice you've given me. Would you believe, it's only now that I am taking time to look at the Hub formats and the ways that articles should be laid out online with more photos, charts, etc. ? Your comment has proven that man, I really was in need of serious help in terms of site structure. I hope to learn and improve very quickly going forward:)

    • grand old lady profile image
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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 9 months ago from Philippines

      Hi RichaWriter, I wrote this because when I was little there was this movie, The Robe which was very good. I like the way you look at your faith. I used to be a Catholic, but now as a non-Catholic, I think the robe would matter to me because it belonged to Jesus. Your comment about how a religion would value a piece of clothing, however, gives me greater appreciation for the Catholic faith. Thank you for sharing your thoughtful perceptions and your faith.

    • Richawriter profile image

      Richard J ONeill 9 months ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      Interesting. Something else I didn't know.

      I'm a Catholic, but I've never been to Church in my life, except for weddings and funerals, or to admire the wonderful architecture on display.

      For me, it's hard to understand why faith is so powerful as to cause a person to treasure a piece of clothing, or go to a stone building once a week for prayers and sermon. But then, thinking deeply, I understand that purpose is important. Without the stories of Jesus, and the lessons that come with them, would we simply believe that we came from a single cell organism that magically appeared millions of years ago?

      It's not a very appealing idea. That we came from God, or a creator with a purpose for us, is far more appealing and allows people to hope, to believe in something greater than the mechanics of science.

      Thanks.

      Great hub and another great lesson.

      Richard

    • profile image

      Vinicius 2 years ago

      I was curious if you ever thoguht of changing the structure of your site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

    • grand old lady profile image
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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

      LadyFiddler, I so totally and completely love what you said:). Yes, nothing comes even close to the robe that Jesus wears now in heaven.

      I used to watch that movie when I was a kid. I hated Caligula. Maybe if I watch it now, I'll see the funny side of him, just as you do:)

    • LadyFiddler profile image

      Joanna Chandler 2 years ago from On planet Earth

      Hi Grand old lady I've watched the Robe so many times seems like i know it by heart. The funny thing is the same Romans that killed Jesus and hated him wanted the robe after isn't that very strange. I remember king Caligula was such a maniac he killed a man and kept shouting RISE IN THE NAME OF THE ROBE. RISE! I think he was the comic throughout the show. Why would you want that but yet hate Christians , no wonder most emperors were nuts......

      There seems to be pretty much controversy over this robe. The thing is they can have this one wherever they wish to if its still around . The Robe my Saviour is wearing now is much lovelier and they could NEVER EVER again take it from him.

      Thanks for sharing :)

    • grand old lady profile image
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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Hello Stuff4kids, I totally agree with your father. If you have faith, an item of clothing would not change your faith in any way. As a former Catholic, I respect churches that cherish these items, just as in the death of my parents I find myself wanting to get things that remind me of my childhood with them. The Belafonte song, for instance, was part of an album that my Dad chose to play every afternoon when work was done. Belafonte was among his favorites. But the song doesn't change how I love and view my Dad, it just reminds me of him.

    • grand old lady profile image
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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Yes, Mr. MG Singh, there are many mysteries in the world that do merit scientific studies. I had heard about the lost years of Jesus, and they do leave a lot of questions to be asked and answered.

    • grand old lady profile image
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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Dolores Monet, having grown up in Catholic schools myself, I can understand why a priest would say something like that. It's sort of like if you keep your mom's shoes carefully preserved long after she died, because those shoes mean something to you. (i actually do have my mom's shoes, I often marvel at how tiny her feet were). Regarding the Belafonte song, you're right, it's way too sad to start your day with.

    • stuff4kids profile image

      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Thanks for an entertaining hub - I used to love all this 'unexplained mystery' stuff when I was a kid.

      There are many scholars who doubt that Jesus himself even existed so I doubt that anyone is likely to have preserved his underwear! I suppose, just giving the myths the benefit of the doubt as having some historical basis, that he would have had more than one robe?

      And then, as has been suggested here in the comments, there are all those pieces of the true cross, various - some rather intimate - parts of the holy anatomy, sandals and whatnot scattered through cathedrals and shrines across the globe. The fact the the phenomenon of holy relic keeping (and making, it must be admitted) is global and a part of primitive human culture that pre-dates Christianity and expands well beyond the middle east and Europe, suggests that this is just another manifestation of that.

      In any case, my father (who was a Pastor) would have said that if you are a believer, convinced that Jesus is alive and somehow 'living in your heart' then I doubt you'd have much need to keep hold of his frock as a foundation for your faith. Just sayin.'

      Thanks again for a neat hub.

    • MG Singh profile image

      MG Singh 3 years ago from Singapore

      There are so many things that need scientific study like Jesus died in Kashmir. With so much of scientific knowledge available , I wonder when these facts will be investigated. Fine post, enjoyed reading it.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 3 years ago from East Coast, United States

      When I was a child I went to Catholic school and a priest used to come in to tell us stories about religion. The age of relics rose from demand and suddenly all sorts of relics became available. The dear priest told us many of these stories with humor. But pointed out that a tiny relic, whether real or fake, if it meant a lot to a person, if it touched their hearts - is that such a bad thing? Great article! (I love that Harry Belefonte song but did not listen. It's too early in the morning to start crying!)

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Hi CrisSp,

      Thank you for your kind words. Yes, it is a mystery and as you say, there are some things that should remain a mystery. But I would be very curious to know if the real robe exists, and if it's any one of these. Wouldn't that be an interesting story -- a family in a poor town miles away from civilization comes across the robe and keeps it, not knowing what it is, and all sorts of changes occur in the village. It is intriguing.

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 3 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Wow! This is very interesting. I never knew about it. Great story to tell and to write about. I wonder if the mysterious robe actually exists but then again that's the beauty of the story...mysterious. Let's keep it that way.

      Voting up, interesting and sharing.

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you Rayne123,

      I'm not sure if any of these robes are genuine, but if it were possible to have the robe of Jesus, I guess people would place great value on it. However, according to my research, the robe is no longer whole and only in pieces of cloth, except for the one in Trier, which has yet to be tested. I find stories like these interesting, but personally, my faith isn't reinforced by things like this. If you have faith, you don't need robes or stuff to make it stronger, it's just there:)

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you Rayne123,

      I'm not sure if any of these robes are genuine, but if it were possible to have the robe of Jesus, I guess people would place great value on it. However, according to my research, the robe is no longer whole and only in pieces of cloth, except for the one in Trier, which has yet to be tested. I find stories like these interesting, but personally, my faith isn't reinforced by things like this. If you have faith, you don't need robes or stuff to make it stronger, it's just there:)

    • profile image

      Rayne123 3 years ago

      HI there, you know strange you speak of this topic, I enjoyed this hub and actually thought of his robe myself.

      I would love to find the robe of Jesus and have it send to me. I have actually prayed to God to allow me to find the robe. no luck yet

      I think that would be a great piece of clothing to own. I believe it is out there somewhere.

      Good writing

      Laurie

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you Beth:).

      Ironically, while researching on the robe, it turned out that pieces of wood that supposedly came from Jesus' original cross are also being kept, including at least one nail. It would, for me, be interesting to have all these pieces put in one place, one museum, and see what kind of a story unravels from that. It would make it easier for people like me who have an interest in all of these things to go to one place than to travel to different countries to see each piece. some kind of coherence would be more easily achieved.

      I have a Buddhist relative who loves visiting old churches, especially Catholic churches for their architecture, art and history. My sister lived in Rome for six months and there were so many churches, so every day she visited at least one.

    • profile image

      Beth37 3 years ago

      Isn't it interesting the things we ask for? Why not the hammer and nails, as he was a carpenter? Reading Borsia's comment reminds me how absurd it all seems. It is a major archaeological find when one bone or broken piece of pottery shows up, but we ask for a piece of material from the robe of a man who was crucified thousands of years ago. I like how you phrased it, grand old lady, that you need nothing to vindicate your faith. After all, what Jesus would want us to have of him is nothing that could be held in our hands or seen with our eyes and those who need those things would not be satisfied if they had them. A good hub as always.

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Borsia, I'm also not certain about these robes being genuine. But I do find it interesting how the robe becomes a trigger point to so much history, and the value that people put to what they believed was the robe, to the point of hiding it, etc. I believe in the fundamentals of the Bible, but in the details things get messy. Personally, I don't need anything like a robe, etc. to vindicate my faith. But looking into this was, for me, quite interesting.

    • Borsia profile image

      Borsia 3 years ago from Currently, Philippines

      I have to suspect that the robe never existed in the first place much like every other supposed physical piece of the Jesus lore.

      All of these things turned up in the time after 1000AD and are fabrications created to bolster the church.

      The Shroud of Turin as example is a known fake as has turned out to be virtually every other "sacred relic" even the best examples always turn out to be highly questionable by real scientific and logical examination.

      The supposed splinter from Noah's arc that made a bit of a rise is really nothing more than a splinter of wood of a type commonly used to make all sorts of tools & such and there is nothing tying it to any form of watercraft.

      As to the robe; it makes for a good story and therefore movie but these are just stories and just movies. Really no more believable than Avatar.

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