High-tech view of Shroud of Turin

An ancient cloth beloved by Catholics the world over has been making big news lately.  

shroud

Recently released test results by researchers at the University of Padua in Italy have dated the Shroud of Turin, the linen burial cloth believed to have covered Jesus after his passion and death, between 300 B.C. and A.D. 400, which, of course, encompasses Christ’s lifetime. This far predates the results of disputed 1988 testing that found the cloth came from medieval times.  

The news came as the shroud was on display in a special Year of Faith exposition at the cathedral in Turin, Italy, which Pope Francis marked with a video message that aired on Italian television. 

“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. ... 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,” the pope said in his March 30 address.  

For the faithful who were unable to make it to Turin for the special display, technology has an answer. 

A new mobile application provides a close-up view of the shroud, allowing users to zoom in on various sections of the shroud and read Gospel passages related to it. The “Shroud 2.0” app, available for iPad and iPhone, is free, although there are enhanced features, such as a historical timeline, high-definition images and forensic analysis, that can be purchased for $3.99.

Visible signs of new life

For those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere, the Easter season coincides with spring — a season of renewal and rebirth as the tiny shoots pop up from the soil and trees begin to bud.  

spring

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is urging Catholics to contemplate the link between the Easter season and the culture of life — especially through the lens of Blessed Pope John Paul II’s Evangelium Vitae (“The Gospel of Life”).  

“The Risen Christ is the One who strengthens us to fight the culture of death. We are not left to our own limited, exhaustible resources. He is the One who promised to remain with us through the end of the age,” writes Deirdre McQuade, assistant director for Policy & Communications at the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities.  

“As we mark the Year of Faith and a ‘new springtime of evangelization,’ let us consider how our own lives offer visible signs of new life,” she said. 

For more on the link, visit http://osv.cm/10syc68.