The head portrayed in the Templecombe painting is similar to the Shroud of Turin. The cloth which carries an imprint of a man’s body; used to wrap the crucified body of Jesus Christ for burial.
It is believed the Templars came by it in 1204, when Crusaders captured Constantinople and ransacked it.
This relic called the “Mandylion” was held at Constantinople around 1000 AD.
Veronica, was the saint during Jesus Christ’s journey towards his crucifixion, who offered him her veil to wipe his face. His likeness remained imprinted on the cloth for all time, and she took it to Rome.
It is believed the Knights Templar, copied the head image from the Shroud of Turin, which we know as the Mandylion. Carbon-dating tests carried out on the painting, put the age around 1280 AD.
Some historians question its validity, and believe it be a copy of the Mandylion of the Eastern Orthodox Church, an important relic of Christendom. The Mandylion is believed to be the cloth, bearing the image of Jesus Christ, when he was alive.