What’s the Holy Shroud

Giuseppe Enrie, 1931, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The Shroud is a rectangular linen cloth measuring approximately 4.41 m x 1.13 m, woven in a herringbone pattern, on which there is a front and back image of a crucified and tortured man who has marks and wounds similar to those suffered by Jesus of Nazareth.
It is kept in Turin (Italy) at the Cathedral.
Around the image there are two black lines and several repairs and marks caused by a fire in Chambéry in France where it was kept in 1532.

The Shroud is commonly associated with the cloth believed to have been used as a shroud to wrap the body of Jesus. Despite numerous studies conducted so far, there is still no unanimous consensus on the authenticity of the Shroud nor on the explanation of the formation of the image present on it. it, which faithfully represents the resurrection described in the Gospels.

On the Shroud is visible an image of a man whose condition of death is identifiable, but also the cause of death: the crucifixion.
The image presents some difficulty in reading due to the inversion of light-dark tones similar to those of the photographic negative, however some characteristics can be distinguished such as that of cadaverous rigidity and the absence of any sign of putrefaction, and there are very numerous signs of scourging wounds on the body and bruises on the shoulders caused by carrying the cross.

The marks of the nails on the hands and feet can be clearly seen, as well as numerous puncture wounds on the scalp and a large wound on the left side (on the Shroud, therefore on the right side of the wrapped man).

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The Shroud depicts all the events that preceded the crucifixion:
the scourging, the blows to the face, the marks of the crown of thorns on the head, the use of nails for the crucifixion, wounds to the hands and feet and, finally, the wounds caused by a light spear inflicted by one of the soldiers.

His legs were not broken, in accordance with the prophecy recorded in Exodus 12:46 and quoted in John 19:36: “For these things happened that the scripture might be fulfilled: ‘None of his bones shall be broken.'”

On the sheet of the Shroud, two types of bloodstains are observed, identified as human blood of group AB, distinguished according to the moment in which the blood came out of the body, both before and after death (cadaveric blood).

The Catholic Church does not recognize the Shroud as miraculous but allows its cult as a relic or icon of the Passion of Jesus.

John Paul II:
“Since it is not a matter of faith, the Church has no specific competence to rule on these questions. She entrusts scientists with the task of continuing to investigate in order to find adequate answers to the questions connected with this Shroud which, according to tradition, would have enveloped the body of our Redeemer when he was taken down from the cross.


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What matters above all for the believer is that the Shroud is a mirror of the Gospel. Indeed, if one reflects on the sacred Linen, one cannot ignore the consideration that the image present in it has such a profound relationship with what the Gospels tell of the passion and death of Jesus that every sensitive man feels inwardly touched and moved in the contemplate it.”.

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