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Shroud of Turin to go on virtual display for Holy Saturday

The Shroud of Turin during the public opening of the Shroud of Turin in Turin Italy on June 15 2015 Credit Bohumil Petrik CNA 6 15 15 The Shroud of Turin in June 2015. / Bohumil Petrik/CNA.

For the second time, the Shroud of Turin will be exposed for veneration on social media and websites on Holy Saturday, the archbishop of Turin has announced.

The Shroud, which bears the image of a crucified man and has been venerated for centuries as Christ’s burial cloth, will be displayed via live stream on April 3.

“The Shroud is a reality that concerns everyone. The Shroud image that Turin has preserved for almost five centuries testifies to pain and death, but also to resurrection and eternal life,” Turin’s Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia said in his March 3 announcement.

“In front of the Shroud we can exclaim with our hearts turned to the Lord: ‘your love is forever.’”

Nosiglia will also preside over a liturgy on Holy Saturday, which will be live-streamed from the chapel of the Turin cathedral, where the Shroud is kept in a climate-controlled vault. Young adults from Turin will present reflections on the theme of hope.

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It will be the second time that the Shroud of Turin has been exhibited over the internet after it was displayed amid the coronavirus pandemic and Italy’s national lockdown on Holy Saturday 2020.

But this time will be different, according to Nosiglia. “It is not the simple repetition of the one celebrated in 2020,” he said, because at the time the pandemic was still new and not yet understood, while today we are “aware of the difficulties to be faced and the commitments that we can take.”

A public display of the Shroud was supposed to take place from Dec. 28, 2020, to Jan. 1, 2021, during the 43rd international meeting of the Taizé Community, but both events had to be postponed due to the coronavirus restrictions.

“The exposition of the Shroud was proposed by the Turin Church to all young people, and we hope to be able to conduct it because the path is an opportunity to show [we are] ‘fratelli tutti’ [all brothers],” Nosiglia said.

The Shroud has gone on public display four times since the year 2000. 

The last time it was presented to the public was in 2015. Pope Francis prayed before the relic during a visit to Turin on June 21 that year. Afterward, he described it as an icon of Christ’s love. 

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“The Shroud,” the pope said, “attracts people to the face and tortured body of Jesus and, at the same time, urges us on toward every person who is suffering and unjustly persecuted.” 

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