Grace's Mosaic Moments

Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Shroud of Turin

Medieval Sorceress as Greeter at the 19th annual Reale Halloween party
With hat & wimple slightly askew. (And yes, that's me.)


On Saturday morning, October 28, 2017, I attended a lecture at the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Longwood, Florida, on the Shroud of Turin (named for the city in Italy where the shroud is now housed). Below is a photo of the full-size replica we saw on Saturday, (shared by a friend, since one of my grandgirls had managed to "hide" my phone!)

Shroud of Turin replica at Church of the Resurrection, 10/28/17

It was an enlightening presentation, I have to admit. Like so many of us, I had read about the shroud - or heard about it on the news - many times over the years; most particularly, a couple of decades ago when the cloth was debunked as being from Medieval times, not the time of Christ. But step by step, the speaker (R. G. Chiang) went through each cry of "fake" over the centuries, including the carbon-14 test, which was later declared invalid because the frayed edge of the linen had been contaminated by medieval "soiling." Basically, I felt he did a successful job of "debunking the debunkers." But, as he frequently emphasized, belief is very much a matter of the mindset you bring to the problem, the lifetime of teachings that affects how we think. As for me, I was pretty much won over to the assertion that the Shroud now preserved under glass in Turin, Italy, was very likely once spread over the body of Christ.

The lecture was strikingly detailed with drawings and biblical quotations, and a history of the Shroud since it was acquired from the Knights Templar. I am, however, kicking myself because I failed to ask: "Where was the shroud before the Templars acquired it?" But, alas, I didn't think of that one until I got home. The questions I did ask are:

How was the reproduction made? A photographic process imprinted on cotton by a firm  in California. The original? Our speaker believes the imprint to be the result of the energy of the resurrection.

Where is the shroud now? Inside a full-length glass-topped case in a vault in the cathedral attached to the palace of the House of Savoy in Turin, Italy. The restoration of the shroud (2002) and construction of the protective room and container cost two million dollars.  

To properly view the shroud, you need to know that it was folded in the center. The left half in the photo above was under Jesus's back, the right over his front. Therefore, an imprint of his face can be seen just to the right of center. (In the middle of the cloth, above the third support post from the left.) In the first photograph ever taken (1898), the negative image is startlingly clear from head to toe, his hands folded over his genitalia. Unless I was willing to deny that a picture is worth a thousand words, I could not help but be impressed.  

Grace note: It is believed the cloth was "laid" not "wrapped" as women were coming back to prepare the body with spices and perfume.)

All the other marks on the cloth are due to age or accident. Evidently there was a fire in 1532 which melted the silver decoration on the reliquary box in which it was kept, burning holes in the cloth. There are also "fold" marks and small holes along the fold lines, most of which have been carefully mended at some time or another. You will notice that the larger triangular holes that look like teeth mirror each other on either side of the center. As do most of the small "fold line" holes.

The most remarkable thing about the very first photo taken (1898) is that no one, including the photographer, expected the negative image to be so much more vivid than the faint sepia tones of the shroud itself.

Shroud "negative" photo, 1898 (front & back)

Shroud "negative," 1931

Whether you're a believer, a scoffer, or think Jesus just another religious prophet, I hope you take a moment to ask yourself: "Could the so-called Shroud of Turin really be the linen cloth draped over Jesus at the moment of resurrection?" 

With food and costuming to prepare for Susie's party that same night, I almost didn't go to this lecture. I'm glad I did. In this world which seems to be "going to hell in a handbasket," as my mother used to say, it's good to have reason to believe that miracles can and do happen. 

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Thanks for stopping by,


1 comment:

  1. It's a fascinating story. One theory is that it is the Veil of Veronica (looking like a veil because it was folded so only the face showed) kept in Constantinople and acquired by the Templars after the sack of Constantinople in 1204.