Gianni Dagli Orti / The Art Archive at Art Resource, NY

MIRACLE AND MANDYLION. Known from Eusebius’s Church History, the correspondence between Jesus and King Abgar recounts Abgar’s petition for Jesus to heal him and Jesus’ response that although he cannot come to him (because he has an appointment with crucifixion), he will send an apostle to heal Abgar because of his faith. The tradition goes on to state that the apostle Thaddeus was sent to Abgar after Jesus’ ascension. An even later development stated that Thaddeus not only brought Abgar a letter from Jesus, but also his facial imprint, miraculously transferred to cloth. This cloth image became known as the Mandylion. Here King Abgar holds the Mandylion after it has been presented by Thaddeus on an eighth-century panel painting from St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai (the site where Codex Sinaiticus was rediscovered by Constantine Tischendorf).