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Texts that tell (and gradually elaborate) the story of the finding of the True Cross and its identification through a miracle date to the fifth century, and include writings by Socrates Scholasticus, Sozomen and Saint Theodoret.
Pieces of the purported True Cross, including the half of the INRI inscription tablet, are preserved at the ancient basilica Santa Croce in Gerusalemme in Rome.
The Veil of Veronica, which according to legend was used to wipe the sweat from Jesus' brow as he carried the cross, is also said to bear the likeness of the face of Christ.
Today, several images claim to be the Veil of Veronica.
The image at the Monastery of the Holy Face in Alicante, Spain was acquired by Pope Nicholas V from relatives of the Byzantine Emperor in 1453 and was given by a Vatican cardinal to a Spanish priest who took it to Alicante, in 1489.
The Jaén Cathedral in Spain has a copy of the Veronica which probably dates from the 14th century and originates in Siena.
Some people believe in the authenticity of some relics; others doubt the authenticity of various items.
It is known as the Santo Rostro and was acquired by Bishop Nicholas de Biedma in the 14th century.
In 1999, Father Heinnrich Pfeiffer announced at a press conference in Rome that he had found the Veil in a church of the Capuchin monastery in the small village of Manoppello, Italy, where it had been since 1660.
The most detailed recorded inspection in the 20th century occurred in 1907 when Jesuit art historian Joseph Wilpert was allowed to remove two plates of glass to inspect the image.
The Hofburg Palace in Vienna has a copy of the Veronica, identified by the signature of the secretary of Pope Paul V, during whose reign a series of six meticulous copies of the veil were made in 1617.
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Very small pieces or particles of the True Cross are reportedly preserved in hundreds of other churches in Europe and inside crucifixes.