This is part #7, "Kept in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Turin, Italy, since 1578" which is part of of my series, "Shroud of Turin: Burial sheet of Jesus!," which is based on a PowerPoint presentation that I am preparing. The previous post in this series was part #6, "An old, yellowed, rectangular, linen sheet about 4.4 x 1.1 metres." For more information about this series, see parts "#1 Title Page" and "#2 Contents" .
[Click on the above image to enlarge it.]
Here are some more quotes, in chronological order (earliest first), which mention the Shroud being kept in in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Turin, Italy, since 1578, i.e. over 430 years, except for comparatively brief periods, e.g. when it was moved to a secret location southern Italy, later revealed to be the Abbey of Montevergine, in Avelino, Italy:
"What is the Shroud of Turin? The Shroud of Turin is a large piece of linen cloth (14 feet 3 inches by 3 feet 7 inches) which is preserved today in a chapel attached to the cathedral in Turin, Italy. It is called the Shroud be cause tradition says that the Body of Christ was wrapped in this cloth at the time of His burial. It is called the Shroud of Turin because since 1578 the Shroud has been preserved in Turin. Historians trace the cloth back to France where in 1389 it was the subject of a controversy between the Canons of the Cathedral at Lirey and the Bishop of Troyes. The Canons claimed that it was the Burial Cloth of Christ, while the Bishop said that the image on the cloth was a painting. .... From May 25th to June 2nd, 1898 the Shroud was displayed publicly in the Cathedral at Turin. Permission was sought to photograph the cloth for the first time ... When permission was granted, Secondo Pia was chosen to take the photograph. ... The resulting photograph was anything but routine. .... The image on the glass plate was not negative, but positive! ... the only possible explanation for the positive image was that the image on the cloth ... was itself a negative image! But how could this be? Photography was less than a hundred years old. This cloth was certainly five hundred years. It existed long before anyone knew what a negative image was. When Pia's discovery was reported in scientific journals, scientists became curious about the origin of this `negative' image which ante-dated photography by several hundred years. In Paris at the Sorbonne University under the direction of Dr. Paul Vignon a group of scientists studied the glass plates provided by Secondo Pia. The group included ... Dr. Yves Delage, a member of the French Academy of Science and, incidentally, a professed agnostic. After an intensive investigation of eighteen months the scientists were convinced of the authenticity of the Shroud, and they believed that they had discovered a process by which the imprints could have been formed (Vignon's vaporograph theory). On April 12, 1902, Delage presented a report to the French Academy of Science. Delage rejected categorically the possibility that the image had been painted. All evidence indicated that the image was actually the imprint of a human corpse. Accepting the Gospels as historical records, Delage the agnostic, went one step further and on purely scientific and circumstantial evidence accepted the identification of the Man of the Shroud as Christ of the Gospels." (Otterbein, A.J., "Introduction," in Stevenson, K.E., ed., 1977, "Proceedings of the 1977 United States Conference of Research on The Shroud of Turin," Holy Shroud Guild: Bronx NY, pp.3-4).
"Evasively was also the way Cardinal Fossati had answered the Nazis' repeated request, during World War II, to see the shroud. Although they said they wanted to view it for scholarly and devotional purposes, the cardinal had already spirited the shroud from its resting place over the altar in the shroud chapel to a stone fortress overlooking Avellino, 140 miles south of Rome. Built in the twelfth century and accessible only by a dirt road, the building now was the Benedictine monastery of Monte Vergine. When the shroud arrived, it was placed in a wooden box, sealed, and placed under the main altar in the chapel. If the monastery were bombed, the monks could rush it to a cave in the heart of the mountain. In 1946, in gratitude for their preserving the shroud while war raged up and down the country, Cardinal Fossati gave the monks and several invited guests a private showing of the shroud." (Wilcox, R.K., 1977, "Shroud," Macmillan: New York NY, p.18).
"Except for the duration of the Second World War (when it was hidden high up in the Southern Italian Province of Avellino in the crypt of the Abbey of Montevergine ... the Shroud has remained for the last four hundred years at Turin. It was brought there from Chambéry in September 1578 (hence its exposition throughout the month of September 1978 and the date of the publication of this book), ostensibly to shorten the journey of the Cardinal Archbishop of Milan, St Charles Borromeo (1538-84), who wished to venerate it, but more probably as part of a political move on the part of its owner, Duke Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy (1528-80), who was planning to transfer his capital from Chambéry to Turin. Since 1694 it has been preserved in a chapel specially built for it between the apse of the Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista and the Royal Palace, known as both the Cappella Reale and the Cappella della Santa Sindone. This shrine is the work of the Theatine architect, Guarino Guarini of Modena (1624-83), and was commissioned by Duke Vittorio Amedeo II (1666-1732), the first King of Sardinia. The bold dome of this impressive black marble rotonda is 195 feet high, and soars beyond the top of most internal photographs. The Shroud - when not exposed - is kept rolled up round a pole inside a silvered wooden reliquary behind a grille above the altar. Although jealously guarded and protected by asbestos, it has been the target of pyromania even in this decade: on 1, October 1972 some acrobatic Herostratus climbed over the palace roof, broke into Guarini's chapel through the dome and tried to set fire to Christendom's most precious relic, repeating his gesture twenty days later." (McNair, P., "The Shroud and History: fantasy, fake or fact?," in Jennings, P., ed., 1978, "Face to Face with the Turin Shroud," Mayhew-McCrimmon: Great Wakering UK, pp.23-24).
"WHAT IS THE HOLY SHROUD? The Holy Shroud of Turin is a piece of cloth measuring 14'3" by 3'7" which bears an image of a man laid out in death. The Shroud is kept today in the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St John in Turin, Italy. It is regarded by many millions of people as the genuine burial shroud of Jesus Christ. Its documented existence takes us back over 600 years and there is a great deal of circumstantial evidence to indicate its continuous existence back to the time of Christ 2,000 years ago in Palestine. Since the end of the nineteenth century an enormous amount of scientific investigation has been carried out on the Shroud and on photographs of it whose enigmatic properties have baffled highly acclaimed scientists in many parts of the world." (Morgan, R., 1983, "Shroud Guide," Runciman Press: Manly NSW, Australia, p.7. Emphasis original).
"What is the Shroud of Turin? ... The Shroud, often called the `Holy Shroud,' is most commonly referred to as the Shroud of Turin because it has been physically located in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, Italy for over 400 years. This precious cloth is considered by millions of Christians throughout the world to be the actual burial cloth of Jesus Christ - a direct witness to His passion, death and resurrection 2,000 years ago. The Shroud is the holiest relic in Christianity. Physically, the Shroud is a remarkably well-preserved oblong piece of linen cloth 14'3" long (4.36 meters) and 3'7" wide (1.1 meters), weighing approximately 5 1/2 lbs. (2.45 kgs.). The linen fibers are woven in a three-to-one herringbone twill with a Z-twist and consist of a fairly heavy yarn (34/100 of a millimeter thick) of Near Eastern or Mediterranean basin flax. Down the left side of the Shroud is a border approximately 3 1/2 inches wide (8 centimeters from the edge) running the full length of the linen cloth. Once thought to be a side-strip sewn onto the main cloth, it has now been determined to be a selvedge, that is, a piece of cloth woven into the main cloth so that it will not unravel. It is done in such a manner as to require no hem. The reason for adding the selvedge is not known for certain. However, historian and renowned English sindonologist Ian Wilson speculates that the selvedge may have been added at a later date perhaps to center the image on the cloth for viewing. He considers this the most logical explanation and points out that the selvedge was added at the same time as the fringe and gold covering, the overall purpose being to transform the cloth from a shroud to what seems to have been some sort of `portrait.'" (Iannone, J.C., 1998, "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin: New Scientific Evidence," St Pauls: Staten Island NY, pp.1-2. Emphasis original).
"The burial cloth known today as the Shroud of Turin has been kept in the city of Turin (Torino), Italy, since 1578. In 1694, the Shroud was placed in a special chapel within the Italian cathedral of St. John the Baptist. Except for a brief period during World War II when the cloth was moved elsewhere for safety, the Shroud remained in this cathedral until the night of April 11, 1997, when a raging fire necessitated its removal. The Shroud was not damaged, and was kept elsewhere in the city until again placed in the cathedral for public display from April 18 through June 14, 1998 (Van Biema, 1998)." (Danin, A., Whanger, A.D., Baruch, U. & Whanger, M., "Flora of the Shroud of Turin," Missouri Botanical Garden Press: St. Louis MO, 1999, p.3).
"Emmanuel Philibert, the Duke of Savoy, brought the Shroud to Turin, Italy on September 14, 1578. One of the principal reasons for doing so was so that St. Charles Borromeo might venerate it. The saint had been the first resident archbishop of Milan in more than eighty years. ... The Shroud was never returned to Chambery and was exposed for veneration each year on the 4th of May in front of the Palazzo Madama. ... On June 1, 1694, the Shroud was placed in a chapel of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist designed by the abbot, Guarino Guarini. Except for a brief period during World War II, it has been kept there ever since. In 1939, Cardinal Maurilio Fossati, Archbishop of Turin, secretly moved the Shroud for safekeeping to the Benedictine Abbey of Montevergine located at Avellino, about 140 miles south of Rome. There it remained until it was returned to Turin in 1946. That year the last Duke of Savoy, King Umberto II, was deposed. He died in Geneva on March 18, 1983. In his will he bequeathed the Shroud to the Holy See, but the Pope left the relic in the custodial care of the Archbishop of Turin." (Guerrera, V., 2001, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," TAN: Rockford IL, pp.18-20).
"In 1453 Marguerite de Charny, the last descendant of the family, gave custody of the Shroud to Anna di Lusignano, the wife of Duke Lodovico of Savoy, who transferred it to Chambery, then Capital of Savoy. Here, in the `Sainte Chapelle' during the night of 4 December 1532, the Shroud suffered very severe damage as a result of a fierce fire; the damage caused, even though lovingly repaired by the Poor Clares, is still evident. In 1578, in order to ease the exhausting pilgrimage for St Charles Borromeo, who was travelling on foot and fasting to Chambery, Duke Emanuel Philibert moved the Shroud to Turin, his new capital. Since 1694, the Shroud has been preserved in the Chapel of the same name built between the Cathedral and the Royal Palace, to a design by the Theatine father and architect, Guarino Guarini. Venerated beneath the famous dome, it is contained in an ornate urn, the three keys to which are separately in the possession of the Custodian, the Archbishop, and the Proprietor. The latter, by virtue of the will of Umberto (Humbert) of Savoy, the last king of Italy, is now, since 1983, the Holy Father himself. The Shroud, stretched and stitched on to a backing of Holland canvas, has been preserved rolled up for its entire length around a wooden cylinder.Only on occasions associated with the Church or the history of the House of Savoy was the Shroud exposed for the viewing of the faithful. The relic has thus never left Turin, a city with which it has such deep associations, except that in 1706, during the siege by the French, it was taken for safe-keeping to Genoa, while in the terrible years of the Second World War, after a stay in the Quirinale, it was hidden in the Benedictine Monastery of Montevergine (Avellino)." (Cassanelli, A. , 2002, "The Holy Shroud," Williams, B., transl., Gracewing: Leominster UK, p.14).
"The Fire of 1997 Before midnight on 11 April, in the Guarini Royal Chapel of the Holy Shroud adjoining the Turin Cathedral, a fire broke out, the flames quickly engulfing the Chapel. The seventeenth-century altar was set ablaze, with debris raining down upon it from the high dome above. Because of restoration work that had been going on in the Chapel, including rewiring, the fire alarms had been switched off and there was no night watchman on duty. Fortunately, the Shroud, in its silver casket, had been removed earlier from its place above the elaborate Bertola altar and placed in a temporary display case in the Cathedral, behind the main altar. When the fire brigade arrived at the scene and burst into the Cathedral, the nave was filled with smoke billowing in from the Chapel entrance. As almost 200 firemen set about quenching the blaze, one of them rushed to the Shroud's display case and flailed a sledgehammer at its 4 centimetre-thick toughened glass panel. At great personal risk, fireman Mario Tematore smashed a hole in the glass - even though it was reputedly unbreakable. He withdrew the Shroud's 1.4 metre-long silver casket and rushed it to safety. .... The Guarini Chapel, totally guttered by fire, was left a smoldering, blackened ruin, and its entry wall adjoining the rear of the Cathedral was extensively damaged. ... Some days later, with the Shroud casket safely in the Cardinal's residence, it was opened and the cloth was removed and rolled onto a long table for examination. To the relief of all persons present, it had survived unharmed. In the aftermath of the fire ... the Shroud ... was transferred into a new, high-tech, bullet-proof glass conservation case, weighing 3 tons .... In an air-conditioned atmosphere of nitrogen and the inert argon gas, specially created for the cloth's protection, the Shroud was stretched out full length. The case was placed behind the cathedral's high altar and was surrounded by black curtaining." (Whiting, B., 2006, "The Shroud Story," Harbour Publishing: Strathfield NSW, Australia, pp.175-177, 179. Emphasis original).
The next post in this series is part #8 "Bears the faint image, front and back, head to head, of a naked man."