Vatican and Shroud of Turin, what Popes say about Turin Shroud
All Popes of the Catholic church have repeatedly asked us to venerate the 'Holy face of Jesus'. Their quotes regarding the Holy Shroud Image of Jesus are given further down on this page.
Pope Francis' speach about the Shroud of Turin on Italian TV
Below is the video message Pope Francis delivered on Italian National TV on Holy Saturday 30 March 2013. He had just been made Pope on 13 March 2013. His message, one day before his first Easter as Pope, was about the miracle image of Jesus on the Shroud of Turin, the burial cloth of Jesus.
The video has subtitles in English. For the full translation see further below:
This is the official translation of the Holy Shroud of Turin speech by Pope Francis during his first Easter Message broadcast on Italian TV:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I join all of you gathered before the Holy Shroud, and I thank the Lord for offering us this opportunity, thanks also to new devices. We do not merely “look” if we are looking at it, it is not a simple look, but it is a form of veneration, a look of prayer and also it is a way of letting him look at us.
This face has eyes that are closed, it is the face of one who is dead, and yet mysteriously he is watching us, and in silence he speaks to us.
How is this possible? How is it that the faithful, like you, pause before this icon of a man scourged and crucified? It is because the Man of the Shroud invites us to contemplate Jesus of Nazareth.
This image, impressed upon the cloth, speaks to our heart and moves us to climb the hill of Calvary, to look upon the wood of the Cross, and to immerse ourselves in the eloquent silence of love.
Let us therefore allow ourselves to be reached by this look, which is directed not to our eyes but to our heart. In silence, let us listen to what he has to say to us from beyond death itself.By means of the Holy Shroud, the unique and supreme Word of God comes to us: Love made man, incarnate in our history; the merciful love of God who has taken upon himself all the evil of the world to free us from its power.
This disfigured face resembles all those faces of men and women marred by a life which does not respect their dignity, by war and violence which afflict the weakest… And yet, at the same time, the face in the Shroud conveys a great peace; this tortured body expresses a sovereign majesty. It is as if it let a restrained but powerful energy within it shine through, as if to say: have faith, do not lose hope; the power of the love of God, the power of the Risen One overcomes all things.
So, looking upon the Man of the Shroud, I make my own the prayer which Saint Francis of Assisi prayed before the Crucifix: Most High, glorious God, enlighten the shadows of my heart, and grant me a right faith, a certain hope and perfect charity, sense and understanding, Lord, so that I may accomplish your holy and true command.
In the picture below, you can see Pope Benedict XVI praying before the Holy Shroud, during the May, 2010 Shroud Exposition in Turin. The Shroud is fully stretched out inside an inert gas filled, bullet proof glass frame.
Pope John Paul 2nd speaks about the Shroud of Turin
Below we have a video of Pope John Paul 2nd speaking about Jesus image on the Shroud when he visited Turin to pray before the Holy Shroud of Turin.
What previous Popes had to say about the miracle image on the Holy Shroud of Jesus in Turin
Leo XIII (Pope from 1878 to 1903) declared that the image of The Holy Shroud, with its undeniable revelation of the true likeness of Christ was a providential event and "a means well-adapted in our time to stimulate everywhere a revival of the religious spirit."
St. Pius X (Pope from 1903 to 1914) referred to the photograph as the "true image of The Holy Shroud" and declared that it can be a very effective aid in meditating on the Passion and Death of our Divine Saviour. St. Pius X expressed the desire that this image be published and seen around the world and venerated in every Christian family. He recommended it to all bishops and priests and gave a special blessing to all who propagate the image and devotion to Jesus Christ pictured on the Holy Shroud.
Pius XII (Pope from 1939 to 1958) approved the medal of the Holy Face of Jesus, produced by Blessed Sister Maria Pierina De Micheli based on the image on the Shroud of Turin. He also declared the Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus as Shrove Tuesday (the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday) for all Roman Catholics. The Pope asked the faithful to spread knowledge and veneration of so great and sacred a relic.
John XXIII (Pope from 1958 to 1963) on seeing the relic, said, "This can only be the Lord's doing... There we see the finger of God."
Paul VI (Pope from 1963 to 1978) added these words: "The Holy Face of Jesus printed on The Holy Shroud of Turin appeared to us so true, so profound, so human and divine, that we admired and loved it like no other image..."
John Paul II (Pope from 1978 to 2005) said "The Holy Shroud is the most splendid relic of the Passion and Resurrection [of Our Lord Jesus Christ]. We become what we contemplate... Why don't we contemplate the Icon of Icons: The Holy Face of Jesus!" Instead of icons made by man, let us venerate the greatest icon of all: The Holy Face of Jesus!
Pope John Paul II showed himself to be deeply moved by the image of the Shroud and arranged for public showings in 1998 and in 2000. In his address at the Turin Cathedral on Sunday May 24, 1998(the occasion of the 100th year of Secondo Pia's May 28, 1898 photograph), he said "The Shroud is an image of God's love as well as of human sin ... The imprint left by the tortured body of the Crucified One, which attests to the tremendous human capacity for causing pain and death to one's fellow man, stands as an icon of the suffering of the innocent in every age."
Pope Benedict XVI (Pope from 19 April 2005) Our present Pope, in 2000, while he was just Cardinal Ratzinger, wrote that the Shroud of Turin is "a truly mysterious image, which no human artistry was capable of producing. In some inexplicable way, it appeared imprinted upon cloth and claimed to show the true face of Christ, the crucified and risen Lord."
When Pope Benedict XVI visited the Shroud Exposition in 2010 he described the Shroud of Turin as an "extraordinary Icon", the "Icon of Holy Saturday, corresponding in every way to what the Gospels tell us of Jesus", "an Icon written in blood, the blood of a man who was scourged, crowned with thorns, crucified and whose right side was pierced". In the same speech, he said that the Holy Shroud "---once wrapped the remains of a crucified man in full correspondence with what the Gospels tell us of Jesus.”
In a major shift of Vatican policy, Pope Benedict XVI, in his book "Jesus of Nazareth - Part 2" released on 10th March 2011, wrote that the Turin Shroud is a 'RELIC'. This is a major shift for the Church in Vatican, since all this while, successive Popes always referred to the Shroud of Turin as an "Icon". By saying that the Shroud of Turin is a 'Relic', they are almost admitting that the Shroud of Turin is the genuine burial cloth of Jesus Christ.
On May 30, 2010 Pope Benedict XVI beatified Sister Maria Pierina De Micheli who coined the Holy Face Medal, based on Secondo Pia's photograph of the Shroud.
Saints prayed to the Holy Shroud of Turin
The Holy Shroud has been venerated by Saints like St. Francis DeSales, St. John Don Bosco, Pope Saint Pius X and revealed by miraculous visions to Saint Thérèse of Lisieux (Little Flower) and to Blessed Sister Maria Pierina De Micheli (beatified by Pope Benedict XVI on May 30, 2010). All these holy souls believed and venerated the image on the Shroud as the true picture of Jesus. The image on the Shroud of Turin is often referred to as an 'acheiropoieta' which means “not made by hands” or in other words, a miraculous image
Follow the links below to read the speeches of the recent Popes when they visited the Holy Shroud.
ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI on 2 May 2010 when his Holiness visited the Shroud of Turin .......More
ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS POPE JOHN PAUL II on Sunday, 24 May 1998 when his Holiness visited the Shroud of Turin: .......More
Please visit the following good websites about Shroud of Turin
- Best Turin Shroud Blog: www.shroudstory.com
- Very informative Turin Shroud Site: www.shroud.com
- Official Turin Shroud website: www.sindone.org
- Shroud of Turin research site: www.shroudofturin.com
- Good site about the Turin Shroud: www.saintanthonyofpadua.net
- About Roman Coins on Turin Shroud: www.numismalink.com
- About NASA VP-8 3D Shroud image: www2.ljworld.com
- Shop for Turin Shroud picture cards, medals at www.holyface.org.uk