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Pope Benedict XVI Authorizes Television Exhibition of the Shroud of Turin

8 March, 20138 March, 2013 0 comments Jesus Jesus

Just before his abdication, Benedict XVI approved the second in the history television exposure of the Shroud of Turin, which according to the tradition, is the piece of cloth the body of Christ was wrapped after his crucifixion.


Burial Shroud of Jesus


The Bible mentions Christ’s body to be wrapped in a linen cloth by Joseph of Aramea, before being entombed. “So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.” (Mark 15:46)


Could be the Shroud of Turin be the same piece of material Jesus was covered with?


Shroud of Turin


Wikipedia - Full-length image of the Turin Shroud before the restoration in 2002.


The Pope John Paul II spoke about it: “The shroud is a challenge for a mind. It primarily demands, from every person and especially from a scholar, an effort which could let him humbly accept the profound message, which shall appeal to his mind and affect his life.”


The shroud features multiple stains, which have been said to include also blood. The marks, could correspond to the biblical description of the wounds inflicted to Jesus on the day of his crucifixion. There can be seen small points around the head, which might be the marks left after the thorn crown. As well as, large wounds on wrists and feet, which are claimed to be those left after piercing.


When in 1898, Secondo Pia, and amateur photographer from Italy, was allowed to photography the shroud, he was astonished by the its negative image in his darkroom, which actually gave a reflection of that what could be seen as the positive image of Christ’s body.


Shroud of Turin

Wikipedia - The Shroud of Turin: modern photo of the face, positive left, negative right.



History of the Shroud of Turin


There are no historical records that would speak exactly about the Shroud of Turin itself prior to the 14th century. However, there are some documents that describe veneration of multiple linens featuring images of Christ’s head before that time. A burial shroud, which some scholars associate with the one of Turin, was owned by the Byzantine Emperors, but was lost in 1204, during the Sack of Constantinople.


The fate of the shroud has been well recorded since the 15th century. In 1532, the cloth was a bit damaged by a molten silver from the reliquary during a fire in a chapel of Chambery in Savoy region. In 1578 Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy ordered the linen to be transferred from Chambery to Turin, where it remains till these days. It was given to the Holy See in in 1983.


The TV Exhibition


Formally, the Pope is the owner of the cloth. However, it is kept in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, northern Italy. The chapel was built in 17th century, especially for the purpose of displaying the shroud.


For the first time the Shroud of Turin was shown on the television on 23rd of July 1973. Soon, viewers from all around the world will be able to see it in HD (high-definition video resolution), on Easter Saturday 30 March 2013.


The selection of the date is closely connected with the person of Benedict XVI and reminds us of the day, when Pope saw the Shroud on the public exposition on the 2nd of May 2010 and described it as the “icon of the Holy Saturday.”


“Thanks to media the shroud will reach to places and people until now unawailable” – said Archbishop of Turin Cesare Nosiglia, who revealed the initiative to the media. He also added that this is the last gift of the current Pope to the faithful and the example of subsequent opening of the Church on the latest technologies.


Archbishop Nosiglia will lead the liturgical celebration in the cathedral of in the capital of Piedmont on the occasion of the presentation of the linen through the cameras of the Italian public television RAI.


What’s more, the shroud will be on display as well thanks to a special application for smartphones, which will be free in the basic version.


Learn more:

Notre Dame Center in Jerusalem houses an ongoing exhibit entitled "The Exhibition of the Shroud of Turin". Visits are free but do need to be made by prior arrangement. Contact Notre Dame Center at +972(2)6271995.

Visit a webiste completely devoted to the Shroud of Turin: http://www.shroud.com/


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Beata Andonia works for the Bethlehem tourist bureau and blogs regularly about Bethlehem for Travelujah-Holy Land Tours. She is originally from Poland and moved to Bethlehem in 2010.



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