The Shroud of Turin: Face to face with mystery




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Published on Apr 2, 2010

The Shroud of Turin, which, according to tradition, is the linen cloth that Jesus body was wrapped in after being removed from the cross, continues not only to spur reason and faith, but also to offer the opportunity to encounter a living mystery. This is the conviction of Gianfranco Berbenni, an expert who has studied the Shroud for more than 30 years. The Capuchin Friar describes his connection to the precious relic this way:It is a physical and historical encounter, a connection with a person who seems to be from 2000 years ago but who in reality is still alive today. If we look at the theological events that had already taken place at the time of Charles Borromeo, the Shroud -- not the fabric but the blood that is on it -- is part of a relationship of worship, that is, there is truly something there that is more than mere archaeological, scientific and biochemical data.The image of the man on the Shroud, shown completely naked and prostrated in pain, bears all the signs of the Passion, thus enriching the Gospel narrations with additional details."In the sequence of events, the flagellation, the mocking-game of Jesus as king and the coronation Also very interesting is the sequence of events on the way of the Via Dolorosa, something that no other document can reconstruct using meticulous forensic and anthropometric science It is not deductions or hypotheses; it is simply the analysis of the goniometric measurements of the blood flow and the archaeological finds. But the amazing thing, though in the tragic sense, is that we can observe how he moved on the cross, trying to avoid asphyxiation by rising precisely 30 cm. It is also a mystical thing, but nonetheless well-documented. Here mysticism and documentation come together. To learn more, one can visit an exhibition at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University, called Who is the man of the Shroud, which among other things, displays a copy of the Shroud of Turin, a hologram and a sculpture that present a three-dimensional reconstruction of the body on the cloth, as well as reproductions of the crown of thorns, the nails and scourges that were used. Several large panels retrace the history of the Shroud, illustrating the scientific research of recent years with special reference to the latest botanic-related studies.

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