Shrouded in Myth and Mystery

The Shroud of Turin – One of the Holiest Christian Relics:

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Turin Cathedral around the 1870s.

Much has been written, studied and speculated about the Shroud of Turin (Sacra Sindone), one of the most famous relics of the Christian world, and it seems that the controversy surrounding its authenticity will go on and on.

The Shroud is kept in the Capella della Sacra Sindone (Chapel of the Holy Shroud) of Turin’s duomo and is rarely displayed to the public. In the last 100 years the relic has only been on display on five occasions and 2010 is the sixth.

What is this Enigmatic Shroud of Turin

The Shroud of Turin is a linen sheet, said to bear the image of a crucified man. Many Catholics believe that it was the cloth used to wrap the body of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion and that the divine light that brought Christ back to life at the Resurrection left an imprint of his body on the burial shroud.

What is the Vatican’s View?

For a long time, the Catholic Church neither endorsed nor rejected the Shroud and it was only in 1958 that Pope Piux XII approved the image in association of the Catholic church’s devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus.

In 1988, carbon-dating tests showed the shroud dated back to no earlier than the 13th century. It appeared that the myth of the Shroud was finally exploded but the reliability of the test was questioned … and controversy prevails.

From the Vatican’s perspective the matter has been left to the personal belief of the individual and the Vatican’s stance is that whether the cloth is authentic or not should not detract from Christ’s teachings. Although, I’m sure the church would love for the Shroud to be proven authentic.

Turin’s duomo in Piazza San Giovanni was built in 1498 and was dedicated to St. John the Baptist. On the right-hand side of the cathedral, through a black marble arch, is the Capella della Sacra Sindone. The famous and controversial Shroud is kept in an urn on top of the altar.

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