Pray Codex

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The Entombment of Christ (above) and Three Marys at the tomb (below). The images are claimed as one of the evidences against the radiocarbon 14 dating of the Shroud of Turin.

The Pray Codex, also called Codex Pray or The Hungarian Pray Manuscript, is a collection of medieval manuscripts, dated to the late 12th to early 13th centuries. In 1813 it was named after György Pray, who discovered it in 1770. It is the first known example of continuous prose text in Hungarian. The Codex is kept in the National Széchényi Library of Budapest.

One of the most prominent documents within the Codex (f. 154a) is the Funeral Sermon and Prayer (Hungarian: Halotti beszéd és könyörgés). It is an old handwritten Hungarian text dating to 1192-1195. The importance of the Funeral Sermon comes from its being the oldest surviving Hungarian, and Uralic, text.

The Codex also features a missal, an Easter mystery play, songs with musical notation, laws from the time of Coloman of Hungary and the annals, which list the Hungarian kings.

One of the five illustrations within the Codex shows the burial of Jesus. This illustration shows remarkable similarities with the Shroud of Turin: that Jesus is shown entirely naked with the arms on the pelvis, just like in the body image of the Shroud of Turin; that the thumbs on this image appear to be retracted, with only four fingers visible on each hand, thus matching detail on the Turin Shroud; that the supposed fabric shows a herringbone pattern, identical to the weaving pattern of the Shroud of Turin; and that the four tiny circles on the lower image, which appear to form a letter L, "perfectly reproduce four apparent "poker holes" on the Turin Shroud", which likewise appear to form a letter L.[1] The Codex Pray illustration may serve as evidence for the existence of the Shroud of Turin prior to 1260–1390 AD, the fabrication date established in the radiocarbon-14 dating of the Shroud of Turin in 1988.[2] Critics of this idea consider this item a rectangular tombstone as seen on other sacred images. The alleged holes may just be decorative elements, as seen, for example, on the angel's wing.[3]


  1. ^ Daniel C. Scavone. "Book Review of "The Turin Shroud: In Whose Image?"". Retrieved 2010-03-05.
  2. ^ E. Poulle, "Les sources de l'histoire du linceul de Turin, Revue Critique", Revue d'histoire ecclésiastique, 104, 3-4, 2009, pp. 772-773.
  3. ^ G.M.Rinaldi, "Il Codice Pray",

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