Monday, April 20, 2015

Why We Pilgrimage to Turin: Jesus is a Lamb to Us and a Lion to His Foes

by Roberto de Mattei *
(Turin) coming from 19 April to 24 June 2015, the grave cloth of Christ, which is the Holy Shroud of Turin, will be on  public display. Only five years after the most recent exhibition,  pilgrims will be able to venerate the holy linen cloth in the cathedral of Turin again. The occasion is the 200th anniversary of the birth of St. John Bosco. The next opportunity to see the grave cloth is not likely to arise again until 2025.
The Holy Shroud is the  cloth in which the body of Our Lord Jesus Christ was wrapped in the grave. The Synoptic Gospels recall this (Mark 13:46; Matthew 27.59; Luke 23.53).  Likewise, the Gospel of John, which speaks of a "soudarion". It is not a simple "icon", one of the countless "likenesses" of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which are scattered all over the world, but an authentic relic, the most precious of Christianity, before over the centuries the Popes, Saints and millions of ordinary faithful have prayed.

Invention of Photography Lifted a Veil of Secrecy

The invention of photography lifted a veil that lay on the mystery of the grave cloth and kept it hidden for nearly 2000 years of its contents and revealed it for everyone. The overall shape of the Savior is stamped in life-size on the linen cloth and shows the viewer something like the negative of a photograph. It has a lot of details that no painter would have ever imagined, let alone be able to paint  without knowing the photographic process in every detail.
The man on the grave cloth of Christ shows the whole drama of the Passion. The accuracy of the Gospel is a factual historical  report as regards the scourging, the crown of thorns, the crucifixion, the wounded side of Our Lord, is proved by the grave cloth in quite an extraordinary way. The grave cloth in the embossed presentation confirms the prophecy of Isaiah: "no unwounded spot, / only bumps, bruises, and fresh wounds, they are not bound, not sound  / not relieved from head to foot with oil" (Isaiah 1.6) ,

Give a Meaning to Suffering

Why this suffering? Our faith teaches us that Jesus came into the world to redeem us from the sin of Adam, to have come through all the physical and moral evil of the universe in the world. "Through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because all sinned", the Apostle Paul writes (Rom 5:12). Since then, the man is born in pain and lives and dies in pain. But the whole suffering humanity was ransomed by Jesus Christ. The grave Shroud of Turin reminds us that human life is suffering because of the fall, but that all suffering was worn by him who was without sin. In Him we can find the answer for our suffering.
Nothing elevates man more than the assumed freely and courageously endured suffering. One of the biggest fallacies of life is to think one can be happy by dodging suffering. In reality, the man who does not suffer is unhappy because he remains without the joy that grows out of the fact, to offer one's own suffering makes sense. That non-sentient creatures suffer without being able to offer their suffering makes sense. The man, however, can detect, due to his intelligence, that the pain is a result of sin, the original sin and actual sins, and that he can give a sense to this pain to undo the sin in union with Christ and to atone.

Grave Cloth is the True Image of the God-Man - In suffering, We Gaze at Him

The grave cloth, the true image of the Man-God, teaches us how to suffer. In the moments of sorrow and physical and moral pain we look at the man of grave cloth. His appearance is disfigured, but what touches the most to the core, is the contrast between the visible consequences of torture and torment he has suffered and the peaceful majesty,brought to expression in his face. Jesus gives us the model for the attitude of patience, of seriousness and composure, with which we are to bear adversity and sacrifice that inevitably characterize our lives. With patience but always to be accompanied by immense confidence of those who conquered death by his death.

Grave Cloth Impressive Proof of His Resurrection

The Holy Shroud not only proves the truth of Christ's suffering, but also provides us with an impressive proof of his resurrection. The scientists that have studied the sacred linen cloth, confirm that only a mysterious power, a sudden flash of radiation and would have the negative impression of the cloth can memorize. In other words, only the resurrection of Jesus Christ,  scourged and crucified under Pontius Pilate unto death may explain the mysterious origin of the grave cloth. He had predicted that He would rise again on the third day, and that the resurrection from the dead, the highest proof of his divinity, was the great miracle that all the miracles and prophecies summarizes all in itself.
Jesus is victorious, raised in triumph, not only allegorically or spiritually, as  a certain progressivist theology would have it, but with visible body, blood, soul and divinity. The grave cloth shows his negative image  "photographed" with His glorious body at the moment of resurrection and thus provides us with another argument to hold that we can find eternal salvation only in the Catholic Church.

As in Adam all die, even so in Christ all live

In his letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul reminds us of this fundamental truth, first proclaimed by the apostles: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If Christ had not died and rose again, salvation would never have taken place. The resurrection is the foundation of our faith. By a man, Adam, death came into the world. By another man, man and God, came life. As in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be revived.
All of humanity is, as St. Augustine says, "summarized in the story of two men, one of whom has lost us  by doing not His will and not obeying Him who had created him. The other has saved us by not doing his will, but that of Him who had sent him. In the story of these two men is the whole Christian faith. "The Holy Week summarizes this drama together and at the Easter Vigil, is familiar to us in the liturgy of the Church with its message of hope and victory.

With the Resurrection Begins  the Kingdom of the Sacrificed Lamb

Easter, says Dom Guéranger, is the proclamation of the kingdom of the sacrificed Lamb, it is the acclamation of the elect in heaven "the Lion of the Tribe of Judah has triumphed, the shoot from the root of David!" (Rev 5.5). Jesus is awakened and resurrected "as a lamb for us, as a lion for his enemies" by uniting the attributes of strength and gentleness. The force with which we fight the enemies of our faith, and love, we are to exercise toward our brothers.
The suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was the pillar of the apostolic preaching and must be the foundation of our faith. The grave cloth is the visible and moving Compendium. That's why we go to Turin to venerate this sacred relic reverently.
Roberto de Mattei , historian, father of five children, Professor of Modern History and History of Christianity at the European University of Rome, Chairman of Lepanto Foundation, editor of the monthly magazine Radici Cristiane and online news agency Corrispondenza Romana, author of numerous books, most recently appeared: Vicario di Cristo. Il primato tra di Pietro normalità ed eccezione (Vicar of Christ, the Primacy of Peter Between Normality and Exception.), Verona, 2013;  The Second Vatican Council - a hitherto unwritten history, Ruppichteroth 2011th
Translation: Giuseppe Nardi
image: Corrispondenza Romana
Trans: Tancred
H/t: Mazarra


Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Do you know that yesterday among the first visitors there were 3 or 4 imam from the italian muslim communities ? I wonder whether some Catholic could visit La Mecca and the Kaaba, don't believe we're allowed to do it....oecumenical dialogue or surrender, that's the problem. God bless+

Unknown said...

Planning to send flowers to Delhi, get New Delhi flower delivery at best price flowers delivery by local florists of Oyegifts.Send Flowers to Delhi