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from issue no. 04 - 2009

Clues to the Resurrection of Jesus

The Sudarium of Oviedo and the Veil of Manoppello: two objects venerated for centuries as relics of the Passion of Jesus, which show surprising correspondences with the Shroud of Turin

by Lorenzo Bianchi

Left, the face of the Shroud; right, the face of the Veil of Manoppello. The dimensions of the two images correspond geometrically

Left, the face of the Shroud; right, the face of the Veil of Manoppello. The dimensions of the two images correspond geometrically

The scientific observation of the image and blood stains present on the Shroud of Turin and the experimental research conducted over decades of study, as already set out in these pages (Small indications of the Resurrection of Jesus, in 30Days, No. 6/7, June/July 2008, pp. 74-78), allow a glimpse as to how only an explanation that goes beyond the scientific knowledge itself is consistent with the data collected, that is that the body wrapped in the Shroud had abandoned the wrapping that contained it simply by disappearing; or that the body become mechanically transparent, passing through and leaving the wrapping empty and intact. And – as was pointed out – the correspondence between the objective physical data and what we find written in the Gospel of John, who was an eyewitness, is remarkable: when Peter enters the tomb, and the cloth and bandages that had enveloped Jesus (that is the Shroud) were still in place, but had flattened onto the tombstone, because what they had wrapped, the body of Jesus, was there no more; the Sudarium (that is the cloth which was resting on the head, on top of the Shroud) was in its place, still in the position where it had been set. And everything was, obviously, intact. “Then the other disciple [John], who had reached the tomb first, entered, and he saw and believed (Jn 20, 8)”. These are the same exact words that Jesus uses to define blessed those who, though not having seen Him resurrected, observing, like the beloved Apostle, the small clues, had believed (Jn 20, 29).
Small clues, such as we may perhaps recognize in another two items that Christian piety has revered for centuries as relics of the Passion of Jesus; and that show, from the first results of analysis and scientific study, striking correspondences and relations with the Shroud of Turin: The Sudarium of Oviedo and the Holy Countenance of Manoppello.

As a result of the Shroud of Turin article published in n. 6/7 June/July 2008, various letters reached the editorial office; we publish a significant part of one of them as introduction to a new article relating to ongoing studies of other relics of the Passion of Jesus, which some historical and physical data suggest may have a relationship with the Shroud.

Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat (France), 2 November 2008

Mr Lorenzo Bianchi
Institute for technologies applied to the cultural heritage

Dear Sir,
Since I have been interested in the Shroud for many years, I read with the greatest interest the excellent article which you published in 30Giorni and which was translated and circulated in France.
You are the first, to my knowledge, to have put into practice the advice given by John Paul II when, during his pastoral visit to Turin, in May 1998, he said that the contemplation of the Holy Shroud required:
“First of all of every person, particularly the researcher, commitment to receive with humility the profound message it sends to his reason and his life”.
And he added:
“The Church urges that the Shroud be studied without pre-established positions that take for granted results that are not such; she invites them to act with inner freedom and concerned respect for both scientific methodology and the sensibilities of believers”.
“For the believer, what counts above all is that the Shroud is a mirror of the Gospel. In fact, if we reflect on the Sacred Cloth, one cannot escape the idea that the image it presents has such a profound relationship with what the Gospels tell of Jesus’ passion and death, that every sensitive person feels inwardly touched and moved at beholding it”.
It was an implicit condemnation of the dating given in 1988 and an invitation to researchers to reason, basing themselves also on the details provided by the Gospels.
You have followed this advice and pointed out the perfect correlation that exists “down to the smallest details,” to quote your formula, between the data provided by the various experimental sciences and... the Gospel narrative... and it is of remarkable truth!
Through this correlation you, nevertheless, face up to “another perspective”, that is the possible demonstration of the “physical” resurrection of Christ and it is precisely in this that the interest, altogether particular, of your own work lies...
It is therefore absolutely necessary, and I beg you to do so, that you pursue this approach, and moreover that you detail it point by point. This, I believe, should be the message of the twenty-first century!...
Looking forward to the pleasure of reading you again, accept, dear sir, my best regards.

Pierre Schultz
President Emeritus of the Order of Lawyers

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