Some valuable and interesting information about the Holy Shroud of Turin
The Shroud of Turin is an ancient yellowed linen cloth which bears the faded image of a bearded man covered with blood stains which correspond to the wounds of crucifixion. It is the actual "clean linen cloth" in which Joseph of Arimathea wrapped the body of Jesus Christ (Matthew 27:59). The cloth is about 13 1/2 feet long and 4 1/4 feet wide. If the marks we perceive were caused by human body, it is clear that the body (supine) was laid lengthwise along one half of the shroud while the other half was doubled back over the head to cover the whole front of the body from the face to the feet. The Shroud has been kept in Turin, Italy for over 400 years but has a history that can be traced to the sixth century, with folklore going all the way back to First Century. Millions believe it is the actual burial shroud of Jesus of Nazareth.
On March 22, 1453 Margaret de Charny, at Geneva, received from Duke Louis I of Savoy the castle of Varambon and revenues of the estate of Miribel near Lyon for 'valuable services'. Those services are thought to have been the bequest of the Shroud.
In 1506, Pope Julius II instituted the feast of the Holy Shroud with its proper Mass and office, appropriately assigned to May 4, the day which followed the feast of the finding of the True Cross.
On March 18, 1983 the ex-king Umberto II died in Cascais. His will discloses that he bequeathed the Holy Shroud to the Pope and his successors, with the proviso that the cloth stays in Turin.
Modern science has completed hundreds of thousands of hours of detailed study and intense research on the Shroud.
Carbon 14 Dating
In 1988, the Holy See permitted three research centres to independently perform radiocarbon dating on portions of a swatch taken from a corner of the shroud. All three, Oxford University, the University of Arizona, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology agreed with a dating in the 13th to 14th centuries (1260-1390).
- The scientific protocol established for sampling was ignored that called for three different samples to be cut from two different locations on the Shroud. Instead, only one sample was removed and cut into three pieces.
- It was taken from an outside corner where it had been handled numerous times over the centuries for public exhibition.
- The only explanation for this breach of protocol and sample location was that it was "expedient".
- In further violation of the protocol, micro-chemical tests were to be conducted to make sure it was fully representative of the entire cloth. These tests were NOT performed. Only a visual observation was made.
- It now seems that the arrogance of modern scientists has been humbled by the mending skills of skilled weavers capable of performing "invisible mending". Medieval France had a craft guild dedicated to this skill who mostly attended to expensive tapestries and articles of royal clothing.
- Had they tested more than one sample, they would have discovered the error.
- Had they done the micro-chemical analysis, they would also have discovered the error.
- The truth of what happened is finally coming out. The results published in Thermochimica Acta (by Raymond N. Rogers ) in January of 2005 have finally put to rest the bogus results of the 1988 carbon dating tests. Next time they should try following instructions, they should have learned that in grade school.
R.N. Rogers is a well-published chemist, and a Fellow of the Los Alamos National Laboratory; he explained why the Shroud of Turin was much older. It was at least twice as old as the radiocarbon date, and possibly 2000 years old.
Carbon-14 Was Flawed?
When the C14 tests were to be carried out a piece of cloth was cut from the actual shroud of
Turin, this was all done before a video camera.
The three men involved were Dr Tite, Cardinal Ballestrero who was the custodian of the shroud of
Turin,(before the tests were even carried out Ballestrero said he didn't believe the shroud was authentic), the third man present was Professor Luigi Gonella, the Archbishop's science advisor.
Professor Ramsey and Carbon-14 Result
Since the 1988 radio carbon 14 dating new startling evidence has led Professor Christopher Ramsey of the University of Oxford and Head of the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit which participated in the original 1988 carbon-14 dating of the Shroud to say, in May 2008:
“There is a lot of other evidence that suggests to many that the shroud is older than the radiocarbon dates allow, and so further research is certainly needed. Only by doing this will people be able to arrive at a coherent history of the shroud which takes into account and explains all of the available scientific and historical information.”
- The evidence to which Professor Ramsey refers includes:
1. Contamination by a fire in 1532 that could have skewed the results by thousands of years.
2. A difference detected in the dates of the different samples given to the three laboratories (in some cases as much as several hundred years).
3. The fact that some parts of the sample appear to come from a fabric that was used to repair the cloth at a later date.
Doctors and the Shroud of Turin
The Marks on the Holy Shroud:
The Scourging: The marks of the scourging at the pillar are clearly visible on the crucified man. Scourging at that time was carried out by a thongs which had two balls of lead at the end. The wounds are scattered over the whole body from the shoulders down to the lower part of the legs. Most of them are on the back showing that Jesus was facing the column while being scourged. There are no marks on the forearms indicating that Jesus’ arms were tied above him. There are also some marks on the chest. There are wounds are all over the pelvic region showing that Jesus was naked during the scourging. About 60 strokes from scourging (120 wounds) can be seen on the Shroud.
The Crown of Thorns: The marks from the crown of thorns are clearly visible on the Shroud. From art we are used to crowns of thorns that have a hole in the middle, somewhat like a halo. But the crown of thorns had no hole in the centre, it was like a cap that covered the entire head. Its thorns were long and would have caused intense pain and much bleeding. It is obvious that it was held in place by a band of rushes going around the head because the flows of blood come to an end at a line further down the head.
The Wounds from the Falling: In the Stations of the Cross we venerate Jesus falling three times before reaching Calvary. The right knee shows a number of wounds and there are two wounds above the right knee. The left knee is also wounded but not as much as the right knee. On the right shoulder there is a wound about 10 x 9 cm. Carrying the cross could have caused a wound of this type but it was not a smooth cross. You can see that it bruised, re-opened and widened the wounds of the scourging. Further down the back on the left side there is a wound with a diameter of about 5 inches, indicating that the weight of the cross tore through the clothes there causing a further wound.
The Wounds from the Nails: The wounds caused by the nails at the crucifixion are clearly visible. Judging by the Shroud three nails were used, one for each hand and one nail for both feet. The wounds in the Shroud indicate that the nails were driven through the wrists and not through the palms of the hand. You might say ‘What about stigmatists who have the wounds on their palms?’ Their wounds are mystical and are not intended to be an exact replica; for example St. Francis had the 5th wound, the wound in the side, on his right side, while stigmatists since then have had it on their left side. The Romans were experts at crucifixion and knew that if somebody was crucified through his palms the nails would tear through the flesh and the hands would be freed from the cross. They crucified through the wrists because there is a space in the wrists calls Destot’s space through which the nails would pass. When the nails pass through this point they injure the nerves for the thumb causing the thumb to bend back into the palm and remain in that position until death. That explains why only four fingers in each hand and not the thumb are visible on the Shroud.
The Wound on the right side of the Chest: There is a large wound on the right side of the chest caused by a soldier piercing the side of Jesus after death. John 19:34 tells us that blood and water flowed out. When a person dies the right auricle of their heart fills with blood but not left side of the heart. From John 19:34 we therefore understand that the soldier pierced the heart of Jesus with his lance from the right side although the heart is on the left side. If he had pierced Jesus from the left side no blood would have flowed out.
The doctors and the Holy Shroud:
- All medical indications are that the image on the Shroud of Turin is of a crucified man.
- The "blood" stains are indeed blood. Human? Maybe. The stains are at least primate blood.
- Spores from plants around the Dead Sea during Christ's era are on the shroud.
- The cloth's weave is from Christ's era.
- There is both post-mortem and pre-mortem blood stains on the cloth in the logically correct locations indicating death had occurred just prior to the man's having been wrapped in the shroud.
- No thumbs are visible on the shroud--a physiological truth that the thumb is drawn into the palm of the hand--a reflex action--as a spike rubs the median nerve when driven into the wrist.
- Serum albumen surrounds the scourge marks--a byproduct of traumatized and broken skin--visible only under ultra-violet light (which of course technology did not provide access to in the 13th and 14th centuries).
- The image shows no signs of capillarity: evidence that a pigment was not used on the shroud.
- The scourge marks reveal that the weapon used was common in Christ's era.
- The blood flows are physiologically accurate and are concurrent with the positions induced by crucifixion.
- The right arm and shoulder are slightly more developed as a right-handed carpenter's would be as a result of pounding nails.
- There is physiological evidence that a heavy object was carried across the man's shoulders after he had been given over 90 lashes by two men.
- All wounds evident on the man of the shroud are concurrent with the description in the gospels.
- The image appears to be that of a real human corpse as confirmed by coroners and forensic medical experts.
- Blood chemistry indicates that it is human blood from actual wounds. This has been confirmed by 13 different chemical tests giving proof for bile, bilirubin, serum albumin, hemoglobin and other blood components.
- Blood stains show the clear separation of blood and blood serum further demonstrating the man pictured on the Shroud was dead.
- Evidence of rigor mortis further confirms the image of a dead man who died from the these traumatic wounds.
- Evidence from pollen removed from the Shroud indicate a Middle East origin.
- Specific pollens are from plants that grow only in areas around Jerusalem.
- Other pollens confirm a historical trail that precedes its arrival in France in the 1300's.
- Pollen confirms the Shroud's presence in Constantinople, Edessa and ultimately Israel.
- A high density of pollen around the head area of the Shroud demonstrate's the Shroud's probable use in a burial ceremony with flowers being laid in with the body.
- Related to the pollen is the evidence of certain flower images that also corroborates its use in a burial. One such flower image is from a plant that only grows in the Middle East.
“The authenticity of the Near East as the source of the Shroud of Turin is completely verified to me as a botanist through the images and pollen grains of Gundelia tournefortii and the images of Zygophyllum dumosum leaves. Other important botanical findings, such as the images of some 200 fruits of two-three species of Pistacia and the reed Arundo donax, will be described and illustrated by photographs. Using my data base of more than 90,000 sites of plant distribution, the place that best fits the assemblage of the plant species whose images and often pollen grains have been identified on the Shroud is 10-20 km east and west of Jerusalem. The common blooming time of most of these species is spring = March and April.”
Dr. Avinoam Danin,
Professor of Botany,
Department of Evolution, Systematics, and Ecology
Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel Copyright 1998
- Textile experts say the cloth is of a Middle East origin.
- The cloth measures exactly 2x8 Syrian cubits, a Middle East unit of measurement.
- Made out of flax, the threads are hand spun (the spinning wheel was invented in the 12th century).
- The different color bands in the Shroud demonstrate ancient techniques of flax preparation that had been long discontinued by the Middle Ages.
- The 3x1 herringbone pattern weave was performed in 1st century but was very rare and very expensive and conforms with the biblical reference that the Shroud was purchased by Joseph of Arimathea, "A rich man".
- Similar burial shrouds have been found in Masada which supports the Shroud as a genuine Jewish burial cloth.
Photographic Image Production
- Skeptics have proposed many means for producing the image in the Middle Ages. Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince (1994) proposed that the shroud is perhaps the first ever example of photography, showing the portrait of its alleged maker, Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) . According to this theory, the image was made with the aid of a magic lantern, a simple projecting device, or by means of a camera obscura and light-sensitive silver compounds applied to the cloth.
1. Leonardo was born a century after the first documented appearance of the cloth.
2. It should be noted that Picknett and Prince's theories, appealing as they are to the imagination, are not taken seriously by most academic scholars.
3. The notion proposed by them that Leonardo was a non-Christian heretic or pagan is similarly rejected by historians.
- The image is a negative that becomes positive only in a photo negative.
- The image contains distance information that acts as a spatial database, similar to a topographical map. The 3-D characteristics show that the cloth wrapped a three dimensional human form at the time of image formation.
- The image is the result of a dehydrated carbohydrate layer on the cloth surface.
- The image has a unique "pixel-like" phenomena. Where the image appears darker, it is not due to more or darker substances, it is because more of the fibrils are effected by the dehydration of the carbohydrate layer covering the cloth surface.
- Travertine Aragonite limestone particles observed at 2500X magnification are similar to the hills around Jerusalem.
- Degraded DNA shows evidence of human genomes found in the blood.
- Calcite, the common ingredient in road dirt were found only in the area of the man's knees and feet consistent with biblical accounts.
- The image appears to be the prototype for all Byzantine icons stemming from the sixth century. Stylized Byzantine Icons bear numerous characteristics similar to the Shroud face.
- Iconography confirms the Shroud's existence in Constantinople and Edessa, Turkey long before coming to France in the 14th century
Anthropology and Archaeology
- The man appears to be a Semitic Jew from 30 to 40 years of age.
- The Shroud shows details of crucifixion unknown in the Middle Ages.
- The image appears to be partially due to a Maillard reaction of ammonia based gases emanating from a decomposing body with the carbohydrate layer on the Shroud surface from when the cloth was soaked in soapweed as part of the final preparation of the cloth. Soapweed acted as a detergent and a fungicide. After it dried, it left a carbohydrate layer which is the "film" upon which the image was created.
- Even though the image appears to be partially due to a Maillard reaction, the body was not in the cloth long enough to show external signs of body decomposition consistent with biblical accounts.
“REPRODUCING” THE SHROUD OF TURIN
- On the 6th October, 2009 an Italian scientist claimed he has reproduced the Shroud of Turin, a feat that he says proves definitively that the linen some Christians revere as Jesus Christ's burial cloth is a medieval fake.
Luigi Garlaschelli, a professor of organic chemistry at the
Pavia, claimed that he reproduced the full-sized shroud using materials and techniques that were available in the middle ages.
His team of scientists claim that they placed a linen sheet flat over a volunteer and then rubbed it with a pigment containing traces of acid. A mask was used for the face.
They placed a linen sheet flat over a volunteer and then rubbed it with a pigment containing traces of acid. A mask was used for the face.
The pigment was then artificially aged by heating the cloth in an oven and washing it, a process which removed it from the surface but left a fuzzy, half-tone image similar to that on the Shroud.
He believes the pigment on the original Shroud faded naturally over the centuries.
They then added blood stains, burn holes, scorches and water stains to achieve the final effect.
It has been demonstrated scientifically that the bloodstains on the Shroud came from direct contact with a body and are all forensically accurate.
It has also been shown that the bloodstains were on the Shroud BEFORE the image was formed since the blood and serum acted to inhibit the image formation mechanism.
There is NO image under the blood and serum stains on the Shroud.
However, to make this new "reproduction," the "blood" was added (using a different pigment) AFTER the image was created. Obviously, it is much easier to add the blood to the image than to first create the blood stains and then create the forensically accurate image around them, which is exactly what a medieval forger would have had to do to duplicate the actual physical properties of the Shroud!
Many of the bloodstains on the Shroud show a surrounding halo of serum stains that are ONLY visible with UV fluorescence photography. Also, the blood has been chemically analyzed and determined to include components of actual blood, NOT pigment.
In 1979, Walter C. McCrone (1916-2002), an internationally recognized microscopist and the director of the famous McCrone Associates Research Laboratory in Chicago, reported that the Shroud image was due to the application of RED OCHRE, also known as Venetian red (an earth color) a red artist's pigment, which is a red IRON OXIDE, so probably Prof Garlaschelli took over this idea from Walter C. McCrone.
This theory was already disproved by the scientific STURP team (and others in the years after that) that conducted the investigations in 1978 on the Shroud of Turin.
The scientific STURP team concluded that:
1) Adler reported that the " straw yellow color" of the body image fibers does not match the color of any of the known forms of ferric iron oxides.
2) Moreover, Adler reports that there is no correspondence of the body-only images to the concentration of iron oxide since the spectral characteristics of the body-only image are different from those of iron oxide.
3) The colors of the fibers, due to iron oxide, is also precluded by the fact that oxidation or reduction converts the yellow fibers of the body-only image to a white color.
4) Only rare particles of iron oxide are noted on the body-only image fibrils.
5) Large amounts of iron bound to the cellulose of the Shroud (not iron oxide) and Calcium were both present throughout the Shroud. This is believed to be due to the ability of linen to bind iron and water by ion association during the retting process (manufacturing process by which linen is immersed in water during fermentation). AN ESTIMATED 90 PERCENT of the iron and calcium exist in this form bound to the cellulose of the linen, AND ONLY A SMALL AMOUNT IS PRESENT AS IRON OXIDE.
6) X-ray studies of the body-only image do not contain enough iron oxide to show up on the X-radiographs.
7) All of the iron of the Shroud, whether from iron oxide particles or from blood, proved to be 99 percent chemically pure, with no discernable MANGANESE, NICKEL, or COBALT.
The earth pigment, RED OCHRE (Venetian red), from either medieval or older sources that were being used, was contaminated with manganese, nickel or cobalt GREATER THAN 1 PERCENT!!!
The STURP team employed microprobe Raman spectroscopy, mass spectroscopy, optical and infrared spectroscopy, micro FTIR spectroscopy, pyrolysis mass spectroscopy, X-ray and a variety of microchemical tests on the fibrils, and came to the conclusion that there was NO ochre or other pigments, dyes or stains on the fibrils of the Shroud.
Jacques de Molay
- In the The Second Messiah authors Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas claim that the image on the shroud is that of Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master of the Order of the Knights Templar. In 1307, De Molay was charged with heresy by king Philip IV of France. According to the authors, de Molay was tortured at the direction of the Chief Inquisitor of France, William Imbert. They contend that his arms and legs were nailed in a manner similar to crucifixion, possibly to a large wooden door. Then de Molay was laid on a length of linen cloth on a soft bed. The cloth was then pulled over his head and body and de Molay was left to recover from his wounds. The use of a burial shroud is defended by suggesting that the Knights Templar used shrouds in ceremonies.
In 1314, de Molay was burned at the stake on March 19, 1314 together with Geoffroy de Charney, Templar preceptor of
Normandy. This is not the same Geoffroy de Charney who came into the possession of the Shroud in the mid-1350.
Furthermore, de Molay was burned at the stake, with fire consuming his body, and there is no indication of how an image could have been formed from his body on a linen Shroud .
Coins and the Shroud
About 1980, the Rev. Francis Filas, S.J., of Loyola University in Chicago and Michael Marx, an expert in classical coins, examined the area over the right eye and detected patterns of what appeared to be the letters UCAI (from TIBERIOU CAISARUS). They also found a lituus design (an auger's staff). Father Filas concluded that this was a lituus lepton coin minted by Pontius Pilate between 29 and 32 CE.
Over the left eye, Father Filas also identified what he believed to be a Juolia lepton with a distinctive sheaf of barley design. The Juolia lepton was only struck in 29 CE in honor of Tiberius Caesar's wife, Julia.
Subsequent computerized image enhancement analysis at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and
University's Spatial Data Analysis Laboratory supports, though cautiously, the existence of the lituus lepton over the right eye and an outline of a coin over the left eye.
By overlaying polarized images, Alan Whanger at
University identified both coins. Alan found 74 points of congruence with an existing lituus lepton and 73 points with a Juolia lepton. But such identification is highly interpretive and other researchers do not find the same level of congruence.
Subsequent computerized image enhancement analysis at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and
University's Spatial Data Analysis Laboratory supports, though cautiously, the existence of the lituus lepton over the right eye and an outline of a coin over the left eye.
Early Chronology of Shroud of Turin
N.B. In 544 an extraordinary cloth image "not made by hand" was preserved at Edessa, which is now Urfa, in Turkey. Many experts identify this " Image of Edessa" with the Shroud, folded in such a way that only the facial area was visible and accessible.
30-47 Peter conceals the Passion relics in Jerusalem.
47 Peter brings the Passion relics to Antioch.
47-357 The Church of Antioch conceals the Passion relics.
From Eusebius of Caesarea’s Ecclesiastical History (I.12) we learn of a letter in Edessa’s archives written by King Abgar V to Jesus asking Him to come to Edessa to cure Abgar of leprosy. The history reports that the Apostle Thomas does send Jude Thaddeus357-362 Arians exhibit the Passion relics in Antioch’s Golden Basilica.
362 Theodoretus conceals the Passion relics in the Golden Basilica.
362-528 The Passion relics remain hidden in the Golden Basilica.
528-540 Monophysites discover the Shroud in the Golden Basilica.
540 Monophysite refugees bring the Shroud to Edessa.
544 The Shroud is fire damaged as Edessa defeats the Persian army.
544-549 The Shroud is portraitized to become the Image of Edessa. Late 6th Century: Evagrius Scholasticus’ Ecclesiastical History mentions that Edessa is protected by a "divinely wrought portrait" (acheiropoietis) sent by Jesus to Abgar.
549-944 The Edessans venerate the holy icon “not made by human hands”.730 St. John Damascene describes the Holy Shroud as a himation, meaning an oblong cloth or a grave cloth.
944 (15th August) The Holy Shroud is received in Constantinople by the Byzantine Emperor Romanus. It was given as part of a deal with Muslim-held Edessa. The cloth "Image of Edessa" is described as an acheiropoietos meaning an impression of God's assumed form and as a moist secretion without coloring or painter's art, and made of linen cloth.
944-1204 The Byzantines venerate the Mandylion and sindon in Constantinople.
1130 Normandy-based monk Orderic Vitalis and others report that the Jesus-imprinted Edessa cloth bears, besides Jesus facial imprint, 'the majestic form of his whole body . . . supernaturally transferred'. From around this same period come hints of special 'privileged few' ceremonies in which Jesus' body, covered in crucifixion wounds, appears to rise out of a casket.
1141 Louis VII King of France visits Constantinople and venerated the Shroud.
1203 Robert de Clari, a knight from Picardy, saw the Holy Shroud at the monastery of St Mary of the Blachernae at Constantinople.
1204 The Shroud disappears during the Crusader sack of Constantinople, given probably to Othon De la Roche who commanded the district of Blacherne.
1205 Theodore Ducas Anglelos informs Pope Innocent III that Shroud is in French hands in Othon De la Roche ‘s hands.
1204-1207 Edessa cloth located in Athens Greece.
1352-1353 Jeanne de Vergy, great-great-great-grand-daughter of Othon de la Roche, married French knight Geoffrey de Charny I.
1355 Geoffrey de Charny I (died 1356) exhibits the Shroud in Lirey.
1453 March 22: Margaret de Charny daughter of Geoffrey de Charny II - son of Geoffrey de Charny I - at Geneva, receives from Duke Louis I of Savoy the castle of Varambon and revenues of the estate of Miribel near Lyon for 'valuable services'. Those services are thought to have been the bequest of the Shroud.
Margaret’s second husband was Humbert de Villersexel, Count de la Roche also related to Othon de la Roche.
1464-1578 Shroud located at Chambery.
1578- Shroud located at Turin except during World War II.
1861 Victor Emmanuel II of Savoy assumes title as King of Italy.
1983 March 18, the ex-king of Italy Umberto II died in Cascais. His will discloses that he bequeathed the Holy Shroud to the Pope and his successors, with the proviso that the cloth stays in Turin.
THE POPES AND THE SHROUD
768 – Stephen III (768-772) shortly after his election as pope wrote a homily concerning the Shroud.
1011 – Sergius IV (1009-1012) consecrated an altar to the Mandylion or the Veronica in Chapel of Pope John VII in St. Peter’s Basilica.
Papal recognition of the Shroud as the true winding-sheet of Christ began with the signal privileges conferred on its sanctuary and its guardians at
In 1467, Paul II (1464-1471) , authorized the Blessed Amedeo IX and his consort Yolandi of France to erect a Church in the confines of their castle "for the preservation of certain most precious relics" which were in their possession, and to find a college of Canons and subordinate ministers for the worthy celebration of Divine Worship.
The Shroud is not mentioned explicitly, but we may be sure that the new church was intended primarily as its sanctuary. Amedeo IX was the son of Duke Louis I, who had received the Shroud in 1452 from Margaret De Charny. It was deposited provisionally in the nearby church of the Franciscans and was there venerated as the true Shroud of Christ while its future abode was in building.
Sixtus IV (1471- 1484) , in four distinct Bulls (1472-80), confirmed the privileges already conferred on the guardians of the Shroud and granted more himself. To the Dean, he gave the right to Officiate with Episcopal Insignia, and to the Canons the right of precedence over all other ecclesiastics. He also instituted additional offices and provided for the maintenance of the Canons with revenues of title Sainte Chapelle, "Principally because of the most glorious Shroud in which Our Lord Jesus Christ was wrapped when He was laid in the tomb".
It was certainly from personal conviction that Sixtus IV, a brilliant theologian and a renowned teacher, affirmed the authenticity of the Shroud. Before his election, he had taken part in a famous dispute as to whether Christ at His Resurrection had re-assumed all the blood shed during the Passion. He maintained that the Saviour had left the remnants of His blood upon the earth, and pointed to the Shroud at
Chambery as one of his proofs: "A similar proof could be adduced from the Shroud in which the Body of Christ was wrapped when It was taken down from the Cross. This is now preserved with great devotion by the Dukes of Savoy and it is colored red with the Blood of Christ
This statement occurs in a treatise on the Blood of Christ, written while the author was still a Cardinal but published in 1473, two years after his election as Pope. This was precisely at the time when he was exercising his apostolic authority to pay such exceptional homage to the Shroud at
In 1506, Julius II (1503-1513) instituted the feast of the Holy Shroud with its proper Mass and office, appropriately assigned to May 4, the day which followed the feast of the finding of the True Cross. Julius cites the statement quoted above from the treatise of Sixtus IV on the Blood of Christ. He notes that multitudes of the faithful were drawn by their devotion to venerate the great relic in which they could see the true blood and the image of Jesus Christ. He states also that the Most High wrought many miracles among the devout worshippers.
The Pope instituted the Feast with the following solemn formula: "We, therefore, who by Divine Disposition, albeit unworthily, preside over the ministry of the sacred apostolate, considering that, if we adore and venerate the Holy cross on which Our Lord Jesus Christ was suspended and by which we are redeemed, it surely seems fitting and binding upon us to venerate and adore the Shroud on which, as is reported, there are clearly seen the traces of the Humanity of Christ which the Divinity had united with Itself, that is, (there is seen) His very Blood; and desiring that divine worship flourish and increase everywhere, and that the faithful, whom Our Lord Jesus Christ cleansed with His Blood, render devout thanks and praise to the Redeemer and His Glorious Mother with solemn festivity.... (We) approve and confirm the aforesaid day and night office of the Shroud together with its proper Mass".
The grant of Julius II was only for the Canons of Sainte Chapelle at
Chambery. Leo X (1513-1521)
extended the Feast with its proper Mass and Office to the whole of
Savoy. This was confirmed by Clement VII (1523-1534),
the legitimate Pope who assumed that title in order to annul its usurpation by the Antipope. It was during the Pontificate of Clement VII
, in 1532, that the Shroud was damaged by fire in the Sainte Chapelle.
four years after the transfer of the Shroud to
Turin, Gregory XIII (1572-1585) extended the Feast to the entire realm of the House of Savoy, both to the North and to the South of the
Alps. It was a Feast of precept with the rank of double of the first class with an octave.
St. Pius X (1903-1914) , during his holy pontificate, approved the Oeuvre St. Luc, founded by Emanuel Faure, for the sole purpose of promoting veneration of the image of Christ revealed by the photograph of the Holy Shroud. His Holiness called this "The True Image of the Holy Shroud"' and declared that it can be an effective means in meditating on the Passion and Death of the Divine Saviour. He expressed the desire that it be held in veneration in all Christian families. To this end, he recommended it to all Bishops and Priests and gave a special blessing to all who would propagate the image and cult of the Shroud.
“The linen cloth in which Joseph of Arimathea enveloped the Sacred Remains of Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Holy Shroud, whereupon "we behold with deep emotion and solace the Image of the Lifeless Body and the broken Divine Countenance of Jesus". (Pope Pius XII) (1939-1958)
Many other Popes took official action in regard to the Feast of the Holy Shroud and its Liturgy by confirming its institution, by extending it to new territories, by approving the revised text of the Mass and Office, and by granting special indulgences on the occasion of the Feast -- all in order to foster love of the Divine Redeemer and penance for sin through veneration of the Shroud. Among these Popes were the following: Paul V (1605 – 1621), Urban VIII (1623-1644) , Innocent X (1644-1655) , Alexander VII (1655 – 1667) , Clement IX, (1667 – 1669), Clement X (1670-1676) , Innocent IX (1676 – 1689), Alexander VIII (1689-1691) , Innocent XII (1691-1700) , Clement XI (1700-1721) , Innocent XIII (1721-1724) , Benedict XIII (1724-1730), Pope Pius VII (1800 – 1823), Pope Gregory XVI (1831 – 1846) and Pius IX (1846-1878).
Pope St. Pius X (1903-1914) expressed the desire that it be venerated in the homes of all Christian families.
Pope Pius XI (1922-1939) gave pictures of the Holy Face from the Shroud to youths saying: “They are the pictures of the Divine Son of Mary; they come, in fact, from that object known as the Shroud of Turin; still mysterious, but certainly not the work of any human hand.”
Pope Pius XII (1939-1958) asked to spread knowledge and veneration of so great and sacred a Relic. “The linen cloth in which Joseph of Arimathea enveloped the Sacred Remains of Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Holy Shroud, whereupon "we behold with deep emotion and solace the Image of the Lifeless Body and the broken Divine Countenance of Jesus".
Pope John XXIII (1958-63) on seeing the Relic, said, “This can only be the Lord's own doing.”
Pope Paul VI (1963-78) praised the Holy Shroud saying, “Perhaps only the Image from the Holy Shroud reveals to us something of the human and divine personality of Christ.”
Pope John Paul II (1978-2005) described the Holy Shroud as “A mirror of the Gospel” which no sensitive person could fail to be touched by.
“An image that has not been made by human hands!” (Pope Benedict XVI)
'This is a burial cloth that wrapped the remains of a crucified man in full correspondence with what the Gospels tell us of Jesus‘ (Pope Benedict XVI) (2nd May, 2010).
An icon 'written with the blood; the blood of a man who was whipped, crowned with thorns, crucified and injured on his right side…. The image on the Shroud is that of a dead man, but the blood speaks of his life. Each trace of blood speaks of love and life' (Pope Benedict XVI) (2nd May, 2010).
Saints on the Holy Shroud
Charles Cardinal Borromeo (1538 – 1584)
Milan made the first of his pilgrimages to
Turin in 1578. When he beheld the Sacred Relic for the first time he could not restrain his tears of joy. The Saintly Cardinal remained in
Turin for eight days, which were spent almost entirely in prayer and in various devotional practices connected with the Holy Shroud.
St. Charles offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass before the Sacred Relic almost daily, carried it in solemn procession and preached to the people of
Turin. In all, he made three pilgrimages to venerate the Holy shroud. When in 1584 -- only six years after his first pilgrimage to
Turin -- he lay on his deathbed, an altar was erected in his room over which he ordered a picture representing the burial of Christ to be placed. So impressive was St. Charles Borromeo's veneration of the Holy Shroud!
St. Francis De Sales (1567 – 1622) was one of the Bishops who held the Holy Shroud when it was shown to the people during its Exposition in 1613. Because of the heat of the day the Archbishop of Turin warned St. Francis to be careful lest his sweat fall upon the Shroud. St. Francis De Sales refers to this incident in a letter to St. Jane Francis De Chantal, Foundress for no other purpose than to mix them with ours, and give them as the price of eternal life.“
St. John Bosco (1815 - 1888)
was another Saint deeply devoted to the Shroud. While a student at the nearby
School at Chieri, John Bosco, together with his companions, would walk to
Turin on Sunday to visit the Chapel of the Holy Shroud before going to the Jesuit church to hear instructions on Christian Doctrine.
St. Pius X, during his holy pontificate, approved the Oeuvre St. Luc, founded by Emanuel Faure, for the sole purpose of promoting veneration of the image of Christ revealed by the photograph of the Holy Shroud. His Holiness called this "The True Image of the Holy Shroud"' and declared that it can be an effective means in meditating on the Passion and Death of the Divine Savior. He expressed the desire that it be held in veneration in all Christian families. To this end, he recommended it to all Bishops and Priests and gave a special blessing to all who would propagate the image and cult of the Shroud.
The Sudarium of Oviedo
The Sudarium of Oviedo or
Shroud of Oviedo, is a bloodstained cloth, measuring c. 84 x 53 cm, kept in the Camara Santa
of the Cathedral of San Salvador,
Spain. This small chapel was built specifically for the cloth by King Alfonso II of
Asturias in AD 840. The Sudarium (Latin = sweat cloth
) is claimed to be the cloth that was wrapped around the head of Jesus of Nazareth after he died. It is displayed to the public three times a year: Good Friday, the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross on 14 September, and its octave on 21 September.
The SUDARIUM is severely soiled and crumpled, with dark flecks that are symmetrically arranged but form no image, unlike the markings on the Shroud of Turin. It is not mentioned in accounts of the actual burial of Christ, but is mentioned as having been present in the empty tomb later.
The Sudarium and the Shroud took different routes. There is no reference of the Sudarium for the first several hundred years after the Crucifixion, until its mention in 570 in an account by Antonius of Piacenza, who wrote that the Sudarium was being cared for in a cave near the monastery of Saint Mark, in the vicinity of Jerusalem.
The Sudarium was apparently taken from
Palestine in 614, after the invasion of the Byzantine provinces by the Sassanide Persian King Chosroes II, was carried through northern Africa in 616 and arrived in
Spain shortly thereafter
The cloth has been dated to the 7th century by the radio carbon method (Baima Bollone (1994), Book of Acts of the 1st International Congress on the Sudarium of Oviedo, 428-429). However, Bollone indicates that the determination is quite unreliable and other indications must be considered as well.
Many of the stains on the Sudarium match those on the head portion of the Shroud. In 1998, blood tests done on both the Sudarium and the Shroud confirmed that the blood stains on both cloths were of the same type: AB, a common blood type among Middle Eastern people but fairly rare among medieval Europeans.
The other important physical evidence of a connection between the two relics is that the material of the cloth is identical, although there are differences in the manner of weaving.
Recent Scientific Discoveries and the Shroud
Giles Carter and John Jackson
Giles Carter, an eminent scientist, believes that the image, which is confined to the top-most fibers of the cloth, was caused by an “auto-radiation” effect emanating from inside the cloth.
Several physicists, including Dr. John Jackson of the Colorado Shroud Center, point to a form of possible columnated radiation as the best explanation for how the image was formed, representing a scorch like appearance (the scorch caused by light versus heat, as the image does not fluoresce).
Dr. Thomas Phillips
Dr. Thomas Phillips (nuclear physicist at
University and formerly with the High Energy Laboratories at Harvard) points to a potential miliburst of radiation (a neutron flux) that could be consistent with the moment of resurrection. Such a miliburst could have caused the purely surface phenomenon of the scorch-like (scorch by light) images and a possible key to the addition of carbon-14 to the cloth. As Dr. Phillips points out: “We never had a Resurrection to study,” and more testing can be done to ascertain whether a neutron flux occurred.
Distinguished particle physicist, Dame Isabel Piczek, has identified the remarkable fact that there seems to be no distortion in the image on the cloth, a distortion that should have resulted from the pressure of the body on the stone floor of the tomb and the inevitable irregularities that would have occurred due to the folds and wrinkles of the wrapping:
“There is a strange dividing element, an interface from which the image is projected up and the image is projected down. The muscles of the body are absolutely not crushed against the stone of the tomb.
They are perfect. It means that the body is hovering between the two sides of the shroud. What does that mean? It means that there is absolutely no gravity. The image is absolutely undistorted. Now if you imagine that the cloth was wrinkled, tied, wrapped around the body and all of a sudden you see a perfect image, which is impossible unless the shroud was made absolutely taut, rigidly taut. A heretofore unknown interface acted as an event horizon.
The straight, taut linen of the shroud simply was forced to parallel the shape of this powerful interface. The projection, an action at a distance, happens from the surface and limit of this, taking with itself the bas-relief image of the upper and, separately, the underside of the body.”
Los Alamos National Laboratory, January, 2005
Now conclusive evidence, gathered over the past two years, proves that the sample used to date the Shroud was actually taken from an expertly done rewoven patch added in the middle ages.
Chemical testing indicates that the linen Shroud is actually very old – much older than the published 1260-1390 date from the 1988 carbon tests.
News, April, 2004
Journal of Optics, UK, April 2004
There is a previously unknown image of the face on the backside of the Shroud.
The face on the backside matches the face on the front.
The nose, eyes, hair, beard, and moustache correspond in place, form, position and scale to those on the front.
The image is “doubly superficial” or only present on the uppermost and bottommost threads of the cloth.
The findings of an image on the backside of the Shroud confirm a prediction by Dr. Jackson in 1990 according to the “cloth collapse” theory.
textile expert …..
Cloth Restoration in 2002:
The linen was separated from the old backing cloth (Holland cloth).
Patches were removed
New full length digital photos were taken and spectrometry was done on both the front and back sides of the Shroud.
Photos of the backside were taken for the first time.
Cloth was vacuumed and wrinkles were eased.
A new backcloth was added.
A 3-1 herringbone weave was discovered similar to the burial of Christ depicted in the Pray manuscript which dates from the 1100s, prior to the earliest 1260 carbon date.
A stitching pattern along 3 inch side strip was discovered similar to cloth only found at Masada, which dates from 73 A.D., prior to the earliest 1260 carbon date.
Did you know that
The Shroud behaves as a photographic negative.
The Shroud encodes three-dimensional (3-D) data which corresponds to a three-dimensional body.
The image is without substance, but rather is due to change within the linen itself.
The image exhibits clear evidence of rigor mortis with no evidence of decomposition of the body, suggesting the body image occurred no later than 36 hours after death.
The Shroud image exhibits anatomical structures clearly not in contact with the cloth, e.g., thus suggesting a type of autoradiograph (X-Ray).
Medical radiation imaging has, by far, come the closest to reproducing the totality of the image. Yet, the Shroud image remains an unduplicatable mystery.
- The technique reproduces these characteristics:
- Density shading giving the same VP-8 bas relief
- Soft tissue to bone ratio corresponding to the same on the Shroud
- Lack of body outline
- Lack of light focus
- Flat pixel surface yet encodes the volume data as stated above.
“No amount of experimental work can recreate for us the agony all of this must have caused, an agony which in the case of Jewish victims went on until a little before sundown, when the legs were broken to hasten death if death had not already intervened. Doctors have differed on the actual medical reasons for the breaking of legs bringing on death, some suggesting that because the victim would be unable to raise himself he would no longer be able to breathe; others that again because he would be unable to raise himself, his blood would sink to the lower part of his body, and death would ensue from orthostatic collapse.“
"At all events it appears that for the man of the Shroud death intervened, mercifully, at some earlier stage. There is no sign of breakage of the legs. Instead there is a clear wound in the side, which may be interpreted as the spear thrust specifically recorded in the Gospel of St. John as being administered to the body of Jesus Christ to check that he was actually dead. (Jn. 19:34)." Ian Wilson
N.B. Copyright for presentation only material taken from various books and internet sources.
Some of the Sources consulted:
Ø The official website for the Holy Shroud of Turin is http://www.sindone.org/
Ø For a comprehensive list of books go to http://www.shroud.com/
Ø A Chemist’s Perspective on the Shroud of Turin by Raymond N. Rogers published by Barrie M. Schwortz Publication (2008) ISBN: 978-0-6152-3928-6
Ø A Doctor at Calvary by Dr. Pierre Barbet, a classic in Shroud Literature, is available in a hardcover edition ISBN: 0912141042
Ø The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World' s Most Sacred Relic is Real , by Ian Wilson 320 pages Published by Simon & Schuster Publication date: ©1998 ISBN: 0684853590
Ø A Forensic Inquiry by Frederick T. Zugibe (previously titled "The Cross and the Shroud")(2005) ISBN: 1590770706
Ø The DNA of God by Leoncio A. Garza-Valdes, 256 pages Reissue edition (March 16, 1999) Doubleday; ISBN: 0385488505
Ø The Burial of Jesus and the Shroud of Turin. Copies can be ordered directly from the publisher from the publisher Jeff Richards SFO
1241 N. East St. Suite 38 Anaheim CA 92805
Ø Denny and the Mysterious Shroud (for children), Frank Tribbe, Runciman Press, Australia. A U.S. distributor, Ave Maria Books.
Ø The Double Images On The Shroud Of Turin: A Medical Inquiry Into The Crucifixion by Nicolo Cinquemani, originally published by Edizioni Giovinezza, Rome, Italy, 1995, this is a revised 1997 edition.
Ø The Enigma of the Shroud - A Challenge to Science by Orazio Petrosillo and Emanuela Marinelli, published by Publishers Enterprises Group (PEG) Ltd., San Gwann, Malta, 1996.
Ø Flora of the Shroud of Turin
by Avinoam Danin, Alan D. Whanger, Uri Baruch, Mary Whanger
Missouri Botanical Garden Press .
Ø The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin: New Scientific Evidence by John C. Iannone Paperback - 228 pages Published by Alba House Publication date: April 1998 ISBN: 0818908041
Ø New and Undisclosed Secrets of the Turin Shroud, by Norma Weller, Lecturer in Fine Arts, Brighton University, is available from the author.
Ø The Shroud of Turin, by C. Bernard Ruffin
ISBN: 0879736178 ;
Ø The Shroud: A Guide to the Reading of an Image Full of Mystery by Lamberto Schiatti 38 pages, over 50 photographs, many in full color. ISBN: 0818908173
Ø The Shroud of Turin; An Adventure of Discovery by Mary and Alan Whanger, Paperback, 160 pages Published by Providence House Pub. Publication date: March 1, 1998 ISBN: 1577360796
Ø The Shroud of Turin and the C14 Dating Fiasco by Thomas W. Case, with a Foreword by Fr. Frederick C. Brinkmann of the Holy Shroud Guild. 1st Edition Paperback, 104 pages Published by White Horse Press Publication date: April 1997 ISBN: 0964831015
Ø Through the Microscope: A Study of the Shroud of Turin in Photomicrographs, By Middle Eastern archaeologist Dr. Eugenia Nitowski 38 Pages, 30 Pages in Full Color, Spiral Bound 106 Photomicrographs (In Color)
Ø Unlocking the Secrets of the Shroud by Gilbert Lavoie, M.D., Published by Thomas More Press of Allen, Texas. ISBN: 0-88347-907-9. Also available is a companion 30 minute video with the same title.