9-April-2010 -- Vatican Information Service |

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Exposition Of Holy Shroud To Begin Tomorrow In Turin

VATICAN CITY, 9 APR 2010 (VIS) - Tomorrow 10 April, the exposition of the Holy Shroud of Turin will open in the cathedral of that Italian city. One of the highlights of the exposition, which is due to end on 23 May, will be the visit of Benedict XVI, who will celebrate Mass in the city's Piazza San Carlo on 2 May.

The Shroud of Turin is believed by millions of Christians to be the burial cloth which wrapped the body of Jesus Christ following His death. The pure linen cloth in a fishbone weave measures 4.37 metres by 1.11 metres. It contains the full frontal and dorsal imprints of a supine man and has carmine- colour stains corresponding to blood. It is marked with a double series of dark spots caused by burns it suffered in a fire in the sixteenth century, while the water use to douse the flames has left broad symmetrical rings, clearly visible. Less visible are transverse marks corresponding to creases in the linen which, before its final voyage to Turin in 1578, had been preserved in a reliquary in forty-eight folds.

The man in the image is 180 centimetres tall and has long hair, a beard and moustache. The eyes are closed, the hands and forearms crossed, and the body bears signs of torture.

During the period of the exposition, daily Mass will be celebrated in the cathedral in front of the Shroud at 7 a.m., followed by Lauds. The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed in the penitentiary of Palazzo Chiablese throughout the day. The chapel will be reserved for silent prayer and Eucharistic worship.

Priests will be available in the penitentiary to hear confessions and administer the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The exposition route to view the Shroud will be open from the end of Mass up to 8 p.m. (reservations are required). It will also be possible to enter the cathedral by the main door, but then the Shroud will only be visible from a distance. The nave will be reserved for prayers and silent reflection. In the evening, depending on the calendar, the cathedral may be open for special ceremonies or religious cultural events.

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