Santa Sindone (Holy Shroud)

It is the holy pall in which, according to the evangelic narration (Matt. 27:59; Mark 15:46; Luke 23:52), the body of Jesus Christ was wrapped when he was placed in the sepulchre.
There were records about the existence of the holy shroud beginning in the 7th century. At first it was believed that it was kept in Jerusalem, then in Constantinople, but later on, various cities contended for the possession of it ( Compiègne, Besançon, Cadouin, etc).
According to the most reliable studies, the holy shroud worthy of greatest reliability seems to be the one pertaining to the property of the House of Savoy in 1453 after several peregrinations: already venerated in Lirey from 1350 and then in Chambéry, it is now kept in the chapel of the Holy Shroud in Turin.
In 1997 a fire destroyed a good part of the chapel and the holy shroud, saved by the Fire Service, was kept in a secret place up to the ostension planned for the following April, to then be once again held in the duomo di Torino(Turin cathedral) in a new reliquary protected from particular technologies.

It consists of a 4.36×1.10 metres sheet of linen of, on which the double image, frontal and dorsal, of a human body is printed. As to the nature of this image many discussions have been sparked: moreover it seems possible to admit that it is truly a question of a sheet used to wrap a corpse; the image, which appears in negative, could have been determined by the fixing onto the material, due, for example to the sweat, in correspondence with the zones of contact with the skin, of aromatic substances spread onto the fabric itself.
The ecclesiastical authority, though allowing the veneration of the Holy Shroud, has never declared its authenticity, putting in doubt also by numerous scientific tests. In 1988, the cardinal Bellestrero communicated that the surveys carried out with carbon-14 dating at three universities (Arizona, Oxford and Zürich) dated the pall as going back to the years 1260-1390; the relic keeps, however, its value as an object of worship. The festivity of the Holy Shroud is celebrated the Friday following the second Sunday of Lent.

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