Turin Shroud Continued
Part 2. History of the Shroud

The Turin Shroud officially entered history with its first public showing in 1357, but the cloth had been in the possession of its owner for some time, and had been owned by several others before that, though no-one was saying where it had come from. Consequently, we can only build up a theory based on what evidence there is, and our powers of reason.

1204 AD  As mentioned before, the Mandylion, which was the most famous 'true likeness' in Christendom, disappeared from Constantinople during the sacking of the city by the Crusaders. Many religious treasures were dispersed to Rome and throughout France.

1204-1291 AD  The Knights Templar who sacked Constantinople gained the reputation of having a secret ritual, in which they worshipped an 'idol' which was a mysterious face, or head, which was described as red and bearded. (Note: the image on the Shroud is reddish-brown in colour)

1306 AD  The treasures of the Knights Templar were brought to France by the Order's Grand Master, Jaques de Molay, and installed in the Temple at Paris.

1307 AD  King Phillip of France ordered the arrest of all Templars. This was because they had secrets, wealth and power which the Church and State could not control. In particular, they worshipped an 'idol' (see above). This object, the so-called idol, was never found by any of the soldiers arresting them, or church authorities interrogating them.

1314 AD  Jaques de Molay was burnt at the stake in Paris for heresy, along with the Grand Master of Templars of Normandy, Geoffrey de Charnay.
1353 AD  A French knight, also called Geoffrey de Charnay, (who was very possibly related to the de Charnay who was burnt at the stake in 1314 - see above), began construction of a special chapel, the Collegiate Church of Lirey. He gave no official reason for wanting to build this chapel, but he obviously had a reason for this special building; moreover, all Knights Templar churches had been 'collegiate' chapels, i.e. churches built to act as centres of learning as well as worship.
1356 AD  In May this year, the chapel at Lirey was officially dedicated (opened). In September this year, Geoffrey de Charnay was killed in battle.

1357 AD  First public exhibition of the object now called the 'Holy Shroud'. The widow of Geoffrey de Charnay exhibited the Shroud in the chapel at Lirey. It was the first of many public exhibitions arranged by her. Special medals of these expositions were struck as souvenirs for pilgrims; one of them can be seen in the Cluny Museum, France.

1357-1453 AD During this century the Shroud was exhibited many times by its owners, the descendants of Geoffry de Charnay. There were constant battles between the family and the Church over ownership of the Shroud.
1453 AD  Margaret de Charnay, the Shroud's then owner, signed over possession of the Shroud to Louis, current Duke of the House of Savoy - a french noble family. In 1464 he paid the Church authorities at Lirey 50 gold francs as compensation for their loss.
1502 AD The Shroud was brought to the chapel of Chambery castle, France, which became its permanent home.
1506 AD Pope Julius II assigns a special day, 4th May, as the Feast of the Holy Shroud. It may have been exhibited on this day every year for some time.
1532 AD There was a very serious fire in the chapel at Chambery, and the Shroud was badly damaged. It retains scorch marks from the fire, and water stains made during the attempt to douse the flames. It was actually holed in several places, and patches were sewn on by Poor Clare nuns.

Between 1502 and 1578 the Shroud remained at Chambery, and Savoy, 1566was exhibited several times here, and at other places in France and Italy. Notably, it was exhibited in 1566, in honour of the new Duchess of Savoy.

The image left is an artist's impression of that showing. Click on the image to see an enlarged view

1578 AD The Shroud was taken to Turin, Italy, for exhibition, and did not return to Chambery again.
1694 AD The Shroud was placed in the royal chapel of Turin Cathedral, in a special shrine designed for it. It was exhibited several times in the 1700s.

1800 AD During the 1800s, the Shroud was exhibited at Turin in 1804, 1815, 1842, 1868 and 1898.

1898 AD 25th May. First day of an 8-day exhibition of the Shroud at Turin, during which an Italian photographer, Secondo Pia, took the very first photographs of it.
28th May, midnight. Pia sees for the first time, the 'lifelike' image of Christ, visible when the Shroud is seen in photographic negative.

1902 AD Yves Delage, Professor of Anatomy at the Sorbonne in Paris, completes his investigations based on the Pia Secondo images, and declares the Shroud to be genuine.
1931 AD A memorable exposition was called from 3 to 24 May 1931, to celebrate the wedding of Umberto di Savoia with the Belgian princess Maria José on 8 January 1930.
1933 AD Pio IX called an exposition of the Shroud from 24 September to 15 October 1933, to celebrate in a solemn way the extraordinary Holy Year.
1969 AD From 16 to 18 of June 1969 a private exposition was prepared in the Chapel of Cristo Crocifisso in the Royal palace, to allow a reconnaissance of the linen by a group of experts nominated by Cardinal M. Pellegrino.

1973 AD   On 23 November 1973 the Shroud was exhibited in the Salone degli Svizzeri, a large hall of the Royal Palace of Turin. A large number of Press and media people were given special access. For the first time the Exposition was broadcast on television.

Some fragments of linen were sampled for hematologic and microscopic analysis, particularly by Dr.Max Frei, criminologist from Zurich. Threads were examined from those areas of the shroud which appeared to be most saturated with blood.
Pollens found deep in the linen were from plants unique to the middle East. Very small traces of human blood were found, but they were on the surface of the cloth only; there had been no penetration of the fibres of the cloth by any liquid, whether blood, pigment, or any other sort of substance.

1978 AD  Between 26 August and 8 October 1978 more than three million people went to venerate the Holy Shroud of Turin.

At the end of the exposition that took place between 3 and 8 October 1978, 44 scientists were allowed to run tests directly on the Shroud, which was placed on a special revolving table.

1980 AD  A special private exposition was arranged for Pope John Paul the second, who went to Turin on a pastoral visit on 13 April 1980.

1988 AD The Vatican gives permission for carbon-dating tests to be run on the Shroud. Small pieces of linen, and fibres from various parts of the cloth are sent to three separate laboratories in England, USA and Switzerland. The 'experts' declare the Shroud to be a medieval forgery. Read about the Carbon-dating Fiasco

1997 AD: Fire. The following report was translated from an Italian newspaper article of the day:

A serious fire at Turin Cathedral threatens to destroy the Shroud
Turin. Friday, 11th April.
At 11.30 p.m. a fire broke out in the interior of the chapel of Guarini. The flames have rapidly reached the nearby Royal Palace. The salvage of the Sindon (the Shroud) has been very dangerous, but the sudarium has been put in safety before the eventual collapse of the dome damaged it.
The causes of the fire are still doubtful.

Mario Trematore ... is the man who saved the Sindon from the flames and from the collapses. When the situation was given up for lost, he dashed amidst the flames and while around him all was collapsing, bursting and burning, with a big iron hammer he began to batter the bullet-proof glass reliquary which protects the relic. He says: "I found the courage in that symbol, the symbol of the Sindon. Only a miracle can explain how I succeeded in breaking the reliquary. When finally all the glass layers gave up and while the beams were falling down, I succeeded in grasping the reliquary with the sudarium in it with both hands and running out with it. Some priests came towards me and everybody burst into tears."'

1997 AD A private exposition was organized few days after the fire of the Cathedral of Turin on 11 April 1997, to see if the linen had been damaged. Cardinal Saldarini, 'keeper of the Holy Sudarium', assured that the exposition planned for 1998 would not be compromised.

1998 AD  Between 18 April and 14 June 1998 more than three million people went to venerate the Holy Shroud in Turin.