Adult Fiction ASENSI
Summary: " A masterful blending of Christian scholarship and pure thrilling adventure, comes a novel about the race to find the secret location of the Vera Cruz, the True Cross on which Christ was crucified, and the ancient brotherhood sworn to protect it from Infidel hands. " Holy relics are disappearing from sacred spots around the world -- and the Vatican will do whatever it takes to stop thieves from their incredible goal; to steal what is left of the scattered and miniscule splinters of the True Cross the Catholic Church has in its possession. Dr. Ottavia Salina, a brilliant and highly esteemed paleographer toils away at her classified workspace deep within Vatican City, analyzing and restoring some of the world's most valuable religious artifacts, until she is called upon by the highest levels of the Roman Catholic Church and charged with a mysterious new assignment: she is to decipher the strange tattoos -- seven Greek letters and seven crosses -- found on an Ethiopian man's corpse. Found next to what was left of the body were three pieces of wood -- suspected by Vatican scholars to be fragments of the Vera Cruz, actual splinters from the Cross on which Christ was crucified. With the help of the captain of the Pope's infamous and tradition-rich Swiss Guard and a renown archaeologist from the ancient city of Alexandria, Dr. Salina is able to uncover a shocking truth: for hundreds of years, a secret brotherhood which refers to itself as the Staurofilakes, and headed by a mysterious figure called Cato, has been hiding the True Cross and means to gather all remainingfragments for themselves. The markings on the Ethiopian corpse, they soon discover, correspond with each of the Seven Deadly Sins, and are part of the complicated, possibly deadly, initiation ritual used to deem candidates worthy of membership into the brotherhood. Having discovered a connection between the brotherhood and Dante's Divine Comedy, they use clues within the text as a roadmap which leads them on a race across the globe to Christianity's ancient capitals. As they travel from Rome to Antioch, with several harrowing stops in between, they must brave a series of unimaginable challenges that put their faith -- and their very lives -- to the ultimate test. If they are to uncover the secrets of the ancient brotherhood, and discover the location of the True Cross, they must do so at their own peril.
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Head of the Restoration and Paleography Laboratory of the Vatican's Classified Archives.
Captain of the pope's Swiss Guard.