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Holy Relic That Shows 'True Face of Jesus Christ' Hidden in Tennessee Motor Home

Holy Relic That Shows 'True Face of Jesus Christ' Hidden in Tennessee Motor Home

A holy relic that supposedly shows what Jesus Christ really looked like has been found after it was hidden for nearly 20 years in a motor home near Knoxville, Tenn.

"The True Face of Jesus Christ," a 150-year-old painting blessed by Pope Leo XIII, is one of just a handful of paintings based on the cloth used to dab Jesus' face before he was crucified, known as the Veil of Veronica, which according to legend bears his likeness.

The motor home's owner, who goes by Frosty, told WVLT-TV he received the painting as a gift and hung it on his wall almost 20 years ago, until he stuck it in a bag three years later and kept it in his closet.

Frosty, 73, said he had no idea of the significance of the painting in his motor home.

"Ha, I've lived here for about 17 years. It's been in there...or in my bedroom ever since," he said.

It had been there all this time until police say Kelly Ghormley, who had been working as his caretaker, stole it and tried to sell it to St. Joseph the Workerville Church in Madisonville for $3,000. The church, realizing what it was, reported Ghormley to authorities and had her arrested after arranging a meeting with her, according to Gannett News Service. She has been charged with felony property theft.

The church is now working with officials in Rome to appraise the piece, which if determined to be authentic could make it invaluable. The linen artwork features a waxed seal stamped with the Pope's ring.

Father David Boettner of the Knoxville Diocese said images of Christ were often distributed as a means of inspiring believers.

"It may turn out to be a very common work of art.  We know there were several, but it is undoubtedly very old and appears to be part of a historic devotion," Boettner said. "We are very pleased that it could be recovered and its rightful owner can have it back."

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