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The mystery of the shroud

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A talk on the Shroud of Turin is coming to every deanery in the diocese through a special presentation organized by diocesan Office of Faith Formation. The Shroud of Turin is “shrouded” in mystery but is believed by many to be the burial cloth of Jesus. The first of eight talks on the shroud began at St. Jude Church in Fredericksburg March 1.

“We thought it would be a good lead-in to Lent,” said Ana Lisa Pinon, diocesan director of faith formation and evangelical programs.

More than 125 people crowded into St. Jude’s basement to hear the talk. The presentation was led by Bill Wingard, founder of Shroud Talks, and featured a life-size photo of the linen shroud measuring 14 feet and 5 inches by 3 feet and 7 inches along with printouts of the photo negative version, which features the face most prominently.

Wingard has spent more than 20 years researching and telling the story of Christ through the shroud’s history, science and connection to the Passion of Christ.

His presentation is the product of months of researching the findings of scientists involved in the 1978 Shroud of Turin Research Project. The 24-person team said in the final report that the image was of a real human form scourged and crucified and not the product of an artist. However, they were unable to determine the actual cause of the image, a topic Wingard goes into great detail about. He also addresses some of the reasons people believe it is a fake originating from the Middle Ages. He hopes that one day further testing can be conducted to refute these claims including a new test that might point to radiation being involved in the creation of the image.

The image on the shroud draws faithful and atheists alike. Wingard hopes the shroud will be seen as an instrument of faith in a world plagued by unbelief, especially among young people.

“I believe the shroud is what Jesus wants to use to bring people to himself,” said Wingard.

According to Vatican News, the shroud is set to be publicly displayed during the Taizé Community’s annual meeting of Europe’s youth Dec. 28-Jan. 1 in Turin, Italy. Those unable to visit Turin can attend one of Windgard’s upcoming talks, with the next one at St. Timothy Church in Chantilly March 8.

Kassock is a freelancer in Fredericksburg.

Find out more

The Shroud of Turin: One of the World’s Greatest Mysteries, will be held:

March 1: St. Jude Church, Fredericksburg, 7 p.m.

March 8: St. Timothy Church, Chantilly, 6:45 p.m.

March 15: Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Arlington, 6 p.m.

March 22: St. Lawrence Church, Alexandria, 2:30 p.m.

March 29: Our Lady of Hope Church, Potomac Falls, 7 p.m.

April 5: St. Bridget Church, Berryville, 7 p.m.

April 6: St. Mary of Sorrows Church, Fairfax, 7 p.m.

April 8: Holy Trinity Church, Gainesville, 7 p.m.

Call 703/841-2554.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2020