Let the hearts that seek the Lord
rejoice; turn to the Lord and his
strength; constantly seek his face.
Psalm 105:3-4 The American Confraternity of the Holy Shroud
The Shroud of Turin is a 14' 6" by 3' 9" rectangular cloth that many judge to be the actual cloth that wrapped the body of Jesus in the tomb. The Catholic Church, which preserves custody of the Shroud in Turin, Italy, has never made, nor is the Church expected to make, an official pronouncement on the authenticity of the Shroud as the actual burial cloth of Christ. The Church says only that the cloth may be an important aid to faith. Nevertheless, since 1898 the Shroud has been the object of worldwide interest. In that year, Secondo Pia, an amateur Italian photographer was invited to photograph the Shroud. Pia’s photographic negatives revealed for the first time the extraordinary, life-like image of the man of the Shroud (see photo to right) and his photographs provoked worldwide interest. Since the time of Pia a great deal, both scientifically and historically, has become known as well as hypothesized about the Shroud. Many have testified that becoming familiar with the corpus of data and hypotheses concerning the Shroud has led to deep contemplation that has indeed strengthened faith, and even changed lives.
The possibility of strengthening faith, and potentially changing lives, is what prompted the founding of The American Confraternity of the Holy Shroud (ACHS). The mission of the Confraternity is to develop ways that the Shroud, whether it is “authentic” or an iconic representation, of Jesus’ passion and death, may illuminate and strengthen Christian faith. The judgment of whether the Shroud is “authentic” is left to the judgment of the informed inquirer. For those, however, who come to such a judgment, the Shroud may be seen not only as an icon testifying to the passion and death of Jesus but also to being witness to a deeper understanding of what occurred in the Easter Tomb of Him whom Christians call Christ.
The official Catechism of the Catholic Church, in Paragraph 647, speaks as follows with regards to the Resurrection of Jesus:
“…no one was an eyewitness to Christ’s Resurrection and no evangelist describes it. No one can say how it came about physically. Still less was its innermost essence, His (Jesus) passing over to another life, perceptible to the senses. Although the Resurrection was an historical event that could be verified by the sign of the empty tomb and by the reality of the Apostles’ encounters with the risen Christ, still it remains at the very heart of the mystery of faith and something that transcends and surpasses history…”
The Confraternity would love to hear from you and we invite you to join us in bringing information related to the Shroud of Turin to the people of the Americas.