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HOLY COAT

The seamless garment of Christ (John 19) for which the soldiers cast lots on Calvary. Two cities both claim to possess this garment. Trier in Germany claims that its relic was sent there by St. Helena (255-330), and is substantiated by a tablet of the sixth century and several documents of the twelfth century. The coat of Argenteuil in France is mentioned in a document dating from 1156 as the cappa pueri Jesu (garment of the Child Jesus). Because of these two traditions the legend arose that the garment woven by the Blessed Virgin and worn by the Savior grew with him. Advocates of the Argenteuil relic say that the Trier coat is not the seamless garment mentioned in the Gospels but an outer cloak. Both relics are the object of popular pilgrimages.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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