MESSAGE FROM THE CUSTODIAN
Dear visitor, welcome to the official website of the Holy Shroud, the Cloth that strongly recalls and makes evident the signs of the Lord's Passion. Since 1983 the Shroud, by the will of Umberto di Savoia, has been the property of the Holy See. And the Pope appointed the Archbishop of Turin "Pontifical Guardian of the Holy Shroud", entrusting him with the care of its conservation and promoting its veneration.
For centuries the Church has paid such great attention and devotion to this cloth because the Shroud speaks of Jesus in an absolutely unique way. Even with the naked eye, before any scientific investigation anyone can recognize on the Shroud the figure of a man who suffered the terrible torture of crucifixion. And this image corresponds in an impressive way to what the Gospels tell us about Jesus and his passion and death.
Furthermore, this Cloth speaks of Jesus also for another reason: on it we see the features of a man who is struck and humiliated, victim of violence and injustice, features of a humanity with which Jesus himself wanted to identify himself: “you did it to me” (Mt 25,40). This is why the Church venerates this precious treasure, an “icon written in blood” as Pope Benedict XVI called it during his visit to Turin on the occasion of the Exposition of the Shroud in 2010.
Of course, our faith does not rest on this image but on the solid rock of the testimony of the apostles entrusted to the Gospels and enlivened by the gift of the Holy Spirit; however, as the venerable John Paul II said in 1998, this “precious Linen can help us to better understand the mystery of the love of the Son of God for us”.
In fact, it is only in the grace of faith that we can fully read the word kept in that image: when we contemplate the face that transpires from the Shroud and that body full of wounds, we should always remember that the Lord Jesus has opened the way of eternal life to whoever recognizes him as King and Lord and welcomes the mystery of his passion and death as a source of love that redeems and saves all humanity. The Shroud speaks to us of Jesus Christ and this is the most important thing.
The story that the Cloth offers us, from its silence, is a great opportunity for catechesis. Reflect and contemplate, therefore, dear friend, with eyes of faith and a heart open to the love of Christ, that face and that bloody body and let the words of John’s Gospel resound in you: God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that whoever believes in him may not die but have eternal life.
Yes, the Shroud arouses feelings of repentance for one’s sins and certain hope of victory over death. In his silence he speaks to us of life and light that gives strength to the weak, serenity to the disheartened, joy of resurrection forever.
+ Mons.Cesare Nosiglia
Metropolitan Archbishop of Turin