May 3, 2021
The story of The Vulnerary of Christ could have been written by a Catholic-friendly Dan Brown. But how it ended up being printed and distributed by Angelico Press is not a novel, but a true story.
First, let's talk about the book's unique content. The Vulnerary of Christ, compiles the history of emblematic depictions of the Five Wounds that Christ suffered at the Crucifixion (vulnerary means a remedy to cure wounds). It is thus a uniquely Catholic compilation of essays and images that explain the rich symbolism and representation in religious art, liturgical objects, heraldry, and even household items, of Jesus' five wounds.
Now, here is the fascinating story of the book: the manuscript upon which this book is based was completed in 1946 by French scholar Louis Charbonneau-Lassay (1871-1946) - an author of other books on Catholic symbolism - shortly before his death.
After his death, the manuscript was stolen by someone claiming to be a publisher, and has never surfaced again.
Hold to your hat, Dan Brown: since certain chapters in the book deal with carefully guarded materials known only from a 15th-century manuscript associated with a mysterious Christian society called the Estoile Internelle (Inner Star), some have speculated that a contemporary member of this organization may have carried it off to maintain secrecy.