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The Unsolved Mystery of the Shroud of Turin

Shroud of Turin

According to legend, the Shroud of Turin is the burial shroud used to wrap Jesus Christ after he was taken off the cross. The 1st ever mention of the relic dates back to the 14th century, when Geoffroi de Charny announced that he had possession of the Shroud and moved it to the commune of Lirey, which he ruled over.

In 1452, it was purchased by Louis I of Savoy and kept in the town of Chambéry, where it suffered significant damage from a fire in 1532. After being transferred to city of Turin in 1578, the shroud was stored in a special chest in Turin Cathedral, which was dedicated to St. John the Baptist. The artifact was taken out for Eucharistic adoration on extremely rare occasions (once every quarter century).

The so-called Shroud of Turin is a white, linen cloth. It measures 14.3 × 3.7 ft (4.4 × 1.1 m) and bears the impression of the body of a man 6' 2" (1.88 m) tall, which was placed on one half of the shroud and covered with the other half.

As the dead body lay in the shroud, it left traces of its outline, as well as of the body's injuries and wounds of the hands, legs, head and back.

Even though this relic was worshiped for several centuries, the real mystery surrounding it emerged on May 28, 1898. That was when amateur Italian photographer Secondo Pia took several pictures of it and found what was clearly a human face in the negatives.

When radiocarbon dating in 1988 revealed the suspiciously young age of the relic, many scientists continued to investigate.

After numerous studies they came to the conclusion that the "youth" of the relic had to do with it boiling in oil or the effects of the high temperatures from the 1532 fire.

Since the 17th century, the Shroud of Turin has been officially venerated by the Catholic church as the authentic shroud of Jesus Christ.

Nowadays it's called "The Fifth Gospel" since modern day investigations of the holy relic have not disproven the gospel stories of the Passion, crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ but have only added on to the narrative of the 4 Gospels.

The very fact that every theory of possible fabrication of the visage of the Son of God onto the linen has been thrown out by the scientific community, makes the Shroud of Turin something far greater than a religious artifact - it makes it one of the biggest wonders of the world.