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Exposition of the Holy Shroud, Turin, Piemonte

Starting on 10 April 2010 until 23 May, the exposition of the Holy Shroud, believed by millions of Christians to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ, will open in Turin cathedral. Pope Benedict XVI will join the pilgrims on 2 May and celebrate Mass in Piazza San Carlo.

During the period of the exposition, daily Mass will be celebrated in the cathedral in front of the Shroud at 7 a.m. The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed in the penitentiary of Palazzo Chiablese throughout the day. The route to view the Shroud will be open from the end of Mass up to 8 p.m. (reservations are required). The official website http://www.sindone.org/ provides texts and information concerning all aspects of the exposition.
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Holy Shroud face The Shroud is a linen cloth woven in a herringbone pattern about the size of metres 4.41 x 1.13, containing the double image of the corpse of a man who died following a series of torture, culminating in crucifixion. The image is bordered by two black lines and damages from a fire occurred in Chambéry in 1532.

According to the tradition, this is the sheet mentioned in the Gospels that served to wrap the body of Jesus in the tomb. Although the tradition has been confirmed by a number of scientific studies, it cannot be said to be definitively proven. But certainly the Shroud represents a direct reference to help understand the reality of the Passion of Jesus, and this is why the Pope called it "mirror of the Gospel".

Since its appearance the Shroud has aroused great emotions for the extraordinary figure it encloses, and most of the studies in the last century and the first glimpse of the new millennium, though not able to explain the genesis of the impression, tend to exclude a human authorship.

The complexity of the object has attracted researchers to the shroud from very different specializations: archaeologists, historians, exegetes, doctors, physicists, chemists, computer experts - to mention only some of the most important areas of research interest in the Shroud - has over time created a community of researchers, joined by a new discipline for which in the 1950s the term Sindonology was coined.

Until the late 19th century research on the Shroud had followed the historical and partly theological paths, but the issue of authenticity remains limited to discussions among scholars, and hardly reached the general public. Only after the photograph made by Secondo Pia in 1898 the need for a thorough, scientific approach was felt. The extraordinary impression on the Shroud, that on the 1898 plate behaved similarly to a photo negative, raised many doubts on the assumption of a medieval fake, supported by some historians, and attracted more scientists to study the source of this special phenomenon.

From 1578 - the year in which the Holy Shroud was brought to Turin to offer the Archbishop of Milan, Carlo Borromeo, the opportunity for worship sparing him a long journey to Savoy - to 1997 the shroud had been kept rolled over a wooden cylinder inside a silver box, now is placed lying inside a container made with the latest technology. In the course of the centuries it was exhibited on numerous public and private occasions.

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