New book claims Shroud of Turin is not counterfeit
Pope Francis will introduce images of the shroud on TV before Easter Sunday
The Shroud of Turin has been held in high regard by the Catholic world as being the actual burial shroud of Jesus Christ. The 14-foot long linen cloth bears the imprint of the face and body of a bearded man. Many believe the shroud was used to bury Christ's body following his crucifixion. Many have debunked the shroud, saying that fiber evidence proves that the shroud was made long after the death of Christ. A new book now hotly contests this.
Pope Francis will provide an introduction when images of the shroud appear on television on Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday, which commemorates Christ's resurrection.
The findings of the book include experiments conducted by scientists at the University of Padua in northern Italy, who have dated the shroud to ancient times, a few centuries before and after the life of Christ. These more recent tests are sure to ignite new debate about the true origins of one of Christianity's most prized and mysterious relics.
Professor Fanti, working with his colleagues used infra-red light and spectroscopy, which is the measurement of radiation intensity through wavelengths to analyze fibers from the shroud, kept in a special climate-controlled case in Turin.
The new tests have now dated the age of the shroud to between 300 B.C. and 400 A.D.
Fibers taken from the Shroud during a study in 1988 subjected the material to carbon-14 dating. Conducted by laboratories in Oxford, Zurich and Arizona, these tests appeared to back up the theory that the shroud was a clever medieval fake, suggesting that it dated from 1260 to 1390.
Those results were disputed on the basis that they may have been skewed by contamination by fibers from cloth that was used to repair the relic when it was damaged by fire in the Middle Ages.
The mystery of the shroud has baffled people for centuries and has spawned not only religious devotion but also books, documentaries and conspiracy theories.
The shroud appears to show the imprint of a man with long hair and a beard whose body bears wounds consistent with having been crucified. The relic continues to lures hundreds of thousands of faithful to Turin Cathedral, where it is kept in a specially designed, climate-controlled case.
Scientists have never been able to explain how the image of a man's body, complete with nail wounds to his wrists and feet, pinpricks from thorns around his forehead and a spear wound to his chest, could have formed on the cloth.
The Vatican has never said whether it believes the shroud to be authentic or not. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said that the enigmatic image imprinted on the cloth "reminds us always" of Christ's suffering.
Pope Francis, will provide an introduction when images of the shroud appear on television on Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday, which commemorates Christ's resurrection.
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
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