The Turin shroud Is An Icon Declares Pope Francis

The Turin shroud was shown live on television for the second time since it’s discovery. It was previously shown to the public three years ago when Pope Benedict travelled to Turin to see it. Images of the linen cloth bearing a faint brownish outline of what appears to be a man’s body and face were broadcast via Italian TV yesterday. Pope Francis conveyed a message broadcast on Holy Saturday the day that follows Good Friday and proceeds Easter Sunday, the day traditionally celebrated as the resurrection.

Pope Francis celebrated his first Easter vigil following the viewing. He used the term “icon” to counter the claim by many believers that the Turin shroud is a “relic” of the crucifixion. The Shroud is revered by  some Christians as the burial cloth of Jesus Christ. The shroud has never been officially authenticated by the Vatican and it is considered an Icon created around 800 years ago. The Shroud was acquired in France and believed to have been brought to Europe by the returning Crusaders. It has been displayed in the northern Italian city of Turin for more than four centuries.

The Turin Shroud made its first appearance on web-platforms in the form of an app for smartphones this month. The program shows digital images of the cloth, many unseen by the naked eye.The Argentinian pontiff, who was elected earlier this month, will preside over a vigil at St Peter’s Basilica on Saturday evening – ahead of the main Easter Sunday celebrations.

Photo courtesy Rai TV

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