VATICAN CITY -- With people forced to stay home during Holy Week because of the coronavirus pandemic, the archbishop of Turin has announced a special online exposition of the Shroud of Turin, which many believe is the burial cloth of Jesus.
On Holy Saturday, April 11, as Christians contemplate Jesus lying in the tomb, Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia will lead a liturgy of prayer and contemplation before the shroud at 5 p.m. local time (10 a.m. St. Louis time).
The prayer service will be livestreamed along with live images of the 14-foot-by-4-foot shroud, which has a full-length photonegative image of a man, front and back, bearing signs of wounds that correspond to the Gospel accounts of the torture Jesus endured in his passion and death.
The Archdiocese of Turin said April 9 the livestream could be viewed directly on the official website for the shroud -- www.sindone.org -- as well as on the official Facebook page of the archdiocese (@diocesitorino) and the Facebook page of its youth ministry office (@upgtorino) and the youth ministry office's YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/upgtorino).
Announcing the special display, Archbishop Nosiglia said April 4 that he had received "thousands and thousands" of messages "asking me if, in this time of grave difficulty we are going through, it would be possible to pray this Holy Week before the shroud" and ask God for "the grace to defeat evil as he did, trusting in the goodness and mercy of God."
The archbishop told Vatican News that the online viewing of the shroud could be "much better" than seeing it in person because the cameras will allow viewers to see it up close and to remain at length with the image.
The image of the crucified man on the shroud, he said, "will go to the heart and the sadness of many people who will follow us. It will be like staying with the Lord on the day we await His resurrection."