Jerry Sword is a songwriter, film maker, and author from Virginia. His works have been featured in motion pictures as well as independent features. He currently resides and continues writing in a small Virginia town.
Stefan T. Allen is the pen name of a man who has spent almost 20 years in education (secondary and university). He has worked on four continents and visited 54 countries. Currently he lives on a boat in eastern NC. He writes short stories and poetry. He reads profusely and enjoys watching the sun set with a glass of wine and sitting on the top of his boat.
About the Book
Deep within the walls of a forgotten monastery in Belgrade lies a secret that has been tucked away for centuries. It is a secret men will both kill and die for. While millions throughout the world have revered the Shroud of Turin as the authentic piece of linen that wrapped the body of Christ, one man stumbles upon as undeniable truth that will ultimately end in the final epic battle between good and evil. This masterfully written first installment of the Chronicles Of The Shroud series will keep you turning pages until the very end. The beginning …of the end…of days.
Excerpt: Chapter 3
I, Branislav, a humble monk, in the year of our Lord 1205, sit to write this letter. It is a dark time and I pray that God, in all His glory, might come and bring grace and mercy to this wretched place.
I have been in this order for 45 years. I came as a young man, with my heart toward God and a desire to serve Him only. I have learned to read and write, and have even translated many texts from all over the world. Now, as this day dawns, I am the abbot of this order, in this small valley, behind these hills, by the grace of God.
The Crusading army has returned in disarray and fear from the armies that destroyed Constantinople. This fear came as the leaders of the Christian armies began to attack and destroy the other European armies in order to steal more treasures for their own lords and ladies back home. They tell me the city has fallen. The great churches and texts have been desecrated. Priests and believers have been tortured and murdered.
Prince Phillip has returned mortally wounded. His wound is green and I fear he will live only a few more days. He has given me a divine treasure and asked me to hide it and lock away its secrets forever. I have been forbidden to look within the leather bag; and instructed to seal it in the crypt and then leave this holy place before the other knights and armies arrive.
I am sorry for the delay. Several days have passed since the above was written. The Prince is dead. His knights have buried him. I spoke several masses for his immortal soul.
The leather bag. After his death, alone in my chambers, I prayed and then feeling compelled by Almighty God Himself, I opened the bag. Inside was a light. It was dark in my rooms, but the inside had a glow.
I put my hand within the bag and felt linen, of fine quality. I removed this linen from the bag and the linen itself was glowing, brighter than a candle. My chambers were aglow with supernatural light.
I unfolded the linen and found what I can only describe as the burial shroud of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
His face, dear God! Your face, so beautiful, so kingly, so majestic. The blood stains from the wounds on your head, your hands, your side and then your feet.
I am the first man in 1200 years to gaze upon your face, my Lord. I fear I will die.
I was overcome with awe and worship. I could not write. I had to meditate and pray.
But now I have returned and with a plan. We all know the armies will soon be approaching. Our scouts warn of only two or three more days before they arrive to destroy all they can see.
I cannot allow this treasure, this gift, this holy relic to go into the hands of these knights who seek only treasure and not the ways of God. I must do all within my power to protect it.
I am an old man and I cannot travel fast. I have been inside this monastery for too many years and no longer know the ways of the world. There is no one around me I can trust with so great a treasure.
If I run with this gift, I will be caught and killed. And the treasure will fall into their hands.
If you are reading this letter. Then know that I am dead. I will leave this place with a false shroud (some soldiers created such a linen shroud from some old linen they found in the great city).
I leave the authentic shroud of the Lord in this place. I place it in a place only a holy man will discover. I cannot say more, for if the heathen or these renegade knights find this letter, then all is lost.
I pray for you my brother. You are entrusted with the greatest gift the world has ever known. You have the gift of life. Walk carefully, for the hour is dark.