the mystery of the shroud of turin

Locked away in a cathedral in Italy, the Shroud of Turin is a mysterious artifact displayed only three or four times a century, drawing pilgrims from all over the world to witness its exposition. Although the next official exposition of the Shroud is slated in 2025, Filipinos do not have to wait for a couple more decades nor travel thousands of miles to see it.
For the first time in the Philippines, and the first time in Asia, Shroud Exhibits International, Inc. presents the Philippine Exhibition of The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin.
After enlightening New Zealand, the exhibit’s journey continues in the Philippines – the only predominantly Christian nation in Southeast Asia—as the country plays host to this very special exhibit that allows visitors to journey with the Shroud’s history, discover the facts and myths behind the Shroud, and unravel the mystery behind this treasured piece.
After a successful first leg at SM City Pampanga, the Mystery of the Shroud of Turin runs at SM Mall of Asia from Sept. 8 to Dec. 9; SM Davao from Jan. 18 to Feb. 3, 2008; and SM City Cebu from April 4-27, 2008.

Shroud of Mystery

For centuries since its first appearance, the Shroud has raised various questions about its identity. Modern science has completed hundreds of thousands of hours of detailed study and intense research on the Shroud. It is, in fact, the single most studied artifact in human history, and now, more than ever, there is a wealth of knowledge available on the Shroud. And yet, the controversy still rages.
Is it really the cloth that wrapped Christ’s crucified body, or is it simply a medieval forgery, a hoax perpetrated by some clever artist? These are questions explored by the Philippine Exhibition of The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin.
The Shroud is a herringbone weave linen measuring 14 x 3.5 feet long, bearing the image of a scourged and crucified man. The image appears in a front and dorsal view, aligned along the midplane of the body and pointing in opposite directions. The front and back views of the head nearly meet at the middle of the cloth.
The “Man of the Shroud” has a beard, mustache, and shoulder-length hair parted in the middle. He is well-proportioned, muscular, with a height estimated to be anywhere between 5’9” and 6’1.”
Dark, red bloodstains are found on the cloth, showing various wounds. At least one wrist bears a large, round wound (the second wrist is hidden by the folding of the hands); the largest bloodstain is found in the side of the body, apparently from piercing; small wounds around the forehead; and scores of linear wounds on the torso and legs, apparently from scourging.
In 1978, the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP), a team of American scientists and photographers, joined a team of international experts in 120 hours of examining the Shroud of Turin. Overwhelmed and baffled by the three-dimensional properties encoded on the Shroud that revealed a natural relief of a human form, the STURP was determined to find out how the image on the Shroud was formed.
Barrie Schwortz, official documenting photographer of the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) admits that he was a skeptic. “I came to Turin fully expecting to see brush strokes, or some sort of clue that would lead us to conclude it was a forgery. But here we are, 30 years later, and we can tell you what it is not – it is not a painting, a photograph, a scorching nor a dust formation, but the mechanism by which the image was formed has still not been determined.”

The accumulation of empirical data on the Shroud of Turin has led Schwortz to believe the cloth is the authentic burial cloth of the historical Jesus.
“There is no singular evidence that can prove the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin. But we have only one existing documentation of a man who was scourged, speared, crowned with thorns, and crucified, and that is the Passion of Jesus Christ, as depicted in the Bible,“ explains Schwortz. “Skeptics have argued that the man on the Shroud could be any one of the hundreds of criminals crucified by the Romans, but history has evidence that the common criminals crucified by Romans were thrown to the jackals, not laid on a tomb in such a position as the man on the Shroud.”
Schwortz also clarifies that the cloth itself is authentic. “This type of cloth already existed around the first century. It wouldn’t have been a common cloth, but remember, Jesus wasn’t a common man, and the wealthy Joseph of Arimathea had provided the burial cloth.”
The most common claim about the Shroud of Turin is that it is a medieval forgery, and Schwortz disputes this saying, “Medieval iconology has always depicted the crucifixion wound at the center of the palm, when in fact, modern forensics has shown that it was actually made lower, on the fleshy part of the palm towards the wrist, as depicted on the Shroud.”
Schwortz adds that the image is so precise that you would have to be about 30 meters away to determine the image, and that it appears to be a negative, a property that is unique to the Shroud. “A medieval forger would have to invent photography, a technology that was discovered seven hundred years later.”
As to claims that it was painted by Leonardo Da Vinci himself, Schwortz candidly says, “Leonardo Da Vinci was a talented artist, but there is documentation of the Shroud a hundred years before Da Vinci was even born. He wasn’t that good to have painted before his existence.”
In the end, Schwortz concludes, “The greatest value of the Shroud of Turin is that it makes you think. This exhibit exists so that people can suspend their judgment, see all the facts about the Shroud of Turin and decide for themselves. “

Unravel the Mystery

Managed by Primetrade Asia, Inc., endorsed by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education, and for the benefit of the Sisters of the Holy Face Congregation, The Holy One of the Lord Catholic Foundation, Inc., and the Diocese of Parañaque, the exhibit is a one-of-a-kind, 45-minute lights and sound show.
“The exhibit features exclusive video clips, special artifacts, and over 80 exhibit items; never been shown before in the Philippines and in Asia,” reveals Irene Lloren, president of Shroud Exhibits International, Inc. “The exhibit items come from the collection of Mr. Barrie Schwortz himself.”
In groups of fifty, visitors will be taken on a module by module tour of the historical journey of the Shroud, and the various theories based on art, science, technology, and the Bible that aim to shed light on this historical, scientific and ecclesiastical phenomenon.
An Adoration Chapel is also on hand for visitors who wish to spend some moments in quiet solace and prayer, while a special area of the exhibition is also set aside for special events, such as seminars and workshops, hosted by religious groups.
“The last part of the tour serves to reach out to our visitors on a personal level,” concludes Lloren. “The area allows visitors to relive their experience, to reflect on the Shroud and what it means to their faith, and to carry out the message of the Shroud in their activities.”
The exhibit is expected to draw large crowds consisting of students from elementary to college level, the academe and professionals from different industries, church groups such as parishes, seminaries, and congregations, other faith-based groups and organizations, and families and the general public as a whole.
The event’s media partners include Radio Veritas and Mozcom. The Philippine Cable Television Association (PCTA), A-Z Direct Marketing and Word and Life Publications are the event’s cooperating organizations.
For more details, contact Shroud Exhibits International, Inc. at 895-2966 or 610-0870, log on to or email



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