The Turin Shroud, which is believed by some Christians to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ, has gone on display for the first time in 10 years.
The shroud is expected to draw some two million visitors to the northern Italian city over the next few weeks.
The cloth shows the faint image of a bearded man with stains of blood on his hands and feet.
Tests in 1988 suggested it dated from the medieval period but those carbon dating findings are contested.
Measuring just over 4m x 1m (14ft x 3.5ft), the frail linen sheet shows an image of a man’s body complete with bloodstains and what appear to be wounds from crucifixion.
Millions of Christians believe the cloth is the burial shroud of Jesus.
In 1988, special tests dated it to between 1260 and 1390, suggesting it was a medieval forgery.
But since then, other scientists have cast doubt on those findings and appealed to the Vatican to allow new tests using more modern techniques.
Some two million people are expected to visit Turin Cathedral to see the shroud, which will be on public view for six weeks, kept in a bullet-proof and climate-controlled case.
Pope Benedict XVI is due to fly to Turin on 2 May to pray before the shroud.
The Turin Shroud, said to be the burial cloth of Christ, was secretly hidden in a Benedictine abbey during the Second World War because the Vatican feared that Adolf Hitler wanted to steal it. -telegraph
Hitler wanting to steal the shroud makes sense because by his own words, Hitler was a Christian.
“I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so.”
( Adolf Hitler, from John Toland [Pulitzer Prize winner], Adolf Hitler, New York: Anchor Publishing, 1992, p. 507. )
“The folkish-minded man, in particular, has the sacred duty, each in his own denomination, of making people stop just talking superficially of God’s will, and actually fulfill God’s will, and not let God’s word be desecrated. For God’s will gave men their form, their essence and their abilities. Anyone who destroys His work is declaring war on the Lord’s creation, the divine will.”
( Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Ralph Mannheim, ed., New York: Mariner Books, 1999, p. 562. )
“Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”
( Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Ralph Mannheim, ed., New York: Mariner Books, 1999, p. 65. )
“My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was his fight against the Jewish poison. …
( Adolf Hitler, in a speech delivered at Munich, April 12, 1922; from Norman H. Baynes, ed., The Speeches of Adolf Hitler: April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1, New York: Oxford University Press, 1942, pp. 19-20. )
“I say: my Christian feeling tells me that my lord and savior is a warrior. … I am convinced that I am really a devil and not a Christian if I do not feel compassion and do not wage war, as Christ did two thousand years ago, against those who are steeling and exploiting these poverty-stricken people.
“May God Almighty give our work His blessing, strengthen our purpose, and endow us with wisdom and the trust of our people, for we are fighting not for ourselves but for Germany.”
“The judgment whether a people is virtuous or not virtuous can hardly be passed by a human being. That should be left to God.”
Is the Shroud of Turin from the time of Jesus? I think not because another shroud—radiocarbon-dated to between A.D. 1 and 50 is notably different:
The weave of the Tomb of the Shroud fabric, the new study says, casts further doubt on the Shroud of Turin as Jesus’ burial cloth.
The newfound shroud was something of a patchwork of simply woven linen and wool textiles, the study found. The Shroud of Turin, by contrast, is made of a single textile woven in a complex twill pattern, a type of cloth not known to have been available in the region until medieval times, Gibson said. – nationalgeographic