from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The handkerchief upon which the Savior is said to have impressed his own portrait miraculously, when wiping his face with it, as he passed to the crucifixion.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A handkerchief.
- n. Specifically— The legendary sweat-cloth; the handkerchief of St. Veronica, according to tradition miraculously impressed with the mask of Christ; also, the napkin about Christ's head (Johu xx. 7).
- n. In general, any miraculous portrait of Christ. See vernicle.
- n. Same as maniple, 4.
- n. The orarium or vexillum of a pastoral staff.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
As the word sudarium suggested, it was painted to represent the impression made by the sweat of Christ, i.e. probably in a yellowish tint upon unbrilliant red.
The same is worshipped under the name of St. Suaire, from the Latin word sudarium.
We also read that the cloth (in Latin, a "sudarium") that covered our Lord's head was rolled up in a separate place.
John 20: 6-7, sloppy translation, sudarium comments:
In other words the Greek seems to encompass a profound complexity of meaning as regards the placement (if that is the right word) of the head cloth, napkin, or, in fact, the σουδαριον/sudarium (in essence the same word, evidently a technical term in the repertoire of near eastern undertakers in Roman-occupied Palestine).
Thus Jerome emphasises the crepuscular setting, and a certain psychic distance opens up between shroud and sudarium.
The sudarium or Veronica's Veil literally claimed iconic status by virtue of their divine creators.
Presumably some of the later traditions about the sudarium of Jesus arose in close connection with the reference in John.
In looking for a link for those seeking more information about the sudarium, I discovered that there is a web site for the "Gnostic Liberation Front".
The first is the cold room, the next warmer, the third warmer still, until you come to the sudarium, the hottest room of all.