• On December 12, 2015, Avinoam Danin passed away at age 76 - Prof. Emeritus Avinoam Danin was a researcher and teacher in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for more than 50 years. During his excursions in Israel and neighboring countries he discovered 43 species and 3 subspecies new to science. Three additional species are named after him. His detailed phytosociological work is published in hundreds of articles, 7 books in English and 7 in Hebrew (






  • Father Héctor Guerra, a life for the Shroud and evangelization - Friday, December 11, 2015 passed away in Madrid Father Héctor Guerra LC, president of Othonia and professor of the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum. Born in 1953, Legionary of Christ priest, scholar of the Shroud, Father Guerra had devoted the last decade of his life also to promote knowledge of the Holy Shroud of Turin, as a relic and as a tool for evangelization.

    With Father Rafael Pascual LC, Director of the Institute of Science and Faith, he founded in 2009 Othonia, an international ONG, a non-profit organization, whose objective is “contribute to the improvement, development, training, promotion and diffusion of knowledge related to the Holy Shroud among different peoples and cultures of the world”.

    Their effort has produced in recent years a number of initiatives, still active, as the Postgraduate Diploma in Shroud Studies, born in 2010 and for which Father Guerra, besides being a member of the Scientific Committee, was professor of the course of Theology and spirituality of the Shroud.

    Another important project to raise awareness of the Holy Shroud are the Expositions Who is the man of the Shroud?, made in different parts of the world through two parallel ways: as permanent exhibitions (Jerusalem 2006; Rome 2006; Sacramento, California, 2010; Den Bosch, Netherlands, 2012; Krakow, Poland, 2012; Mexico City, 2012; San Antonio, Texas, 2013) and as traveling exhibitions (like that in Portugal since 2011, and one in Brazil, also since 2011: Curitiba, Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, Florianopolis).

    Among his books, we remember Cristo, nostra Pasqua, published in 2012 with Cardinal Antonio Cañizares and Father Juan Pablo Ledesma LC, and L’uomo della Sindone, published in 2008 with Israeli botanist Avinoam Danin, who recently passed away too (SRM editorial staff, December 15, 2015)

  • Roll of honor - The Shroud, relic of mercy - «We are all called to reach holiness, and the Shroud – icon and relic of mercy – is a sign of great hope». These are the words spoken by Shroud scholar Emanuela Marinelli, who, on Friday, October 23, in Bassano, has been given the Premio Internazionale Medaglia d’oro al merito della Cultura Cattolica (International Award Gold Medal of merit of Catholic Culture).


    Emanuela Marinelli riceve il Premio dall’assessore Linda Munari, in rappresentanza del sindaco di Bassano.

    Lo scorso anno il premio era stato assegnato a p. Romano Scalfi.


    The ceremony of delivery of the award has been the occasion to know deeply the scholar’s family tradition, what oriented her towards the study of Natural Sciences, a discipline through which she approached for the first time to the sacred cloth, which, moreover, still gathers scientific findings and great devotion.

    Marinelli did not hide her firm belief, expressed during 38 years of uninterrupted depth studies with 17 books on the subject, that the image impressed is that of Jesus Christ. «Of course », she claimed, «that is the image of a crucified man who suffered an exemplar scourging, and who, after having died through the punishment for that time’s criminals, has not been thrown in a mass grave, but he has been buried with a regal treatment». Everything matches with the description of the Gospels, and this makes even more believable the fact that what can be seen «printed» on the linen is right Christ’s face.

    To many incontestable scientific data, can be added elements of more recent detection, like for example the calculation that the corpse has been wrapped in the cloth for 36-40 hours and the fact that the fibers of the tissue have become more yellow as if they were exposed to a strong and sudden light source.

    The data collected in many years of studies, Marinelli explained, always leave space, though, to the doubt of who does not want to believe. «In the Shroud there is the image of a moment of death and Resurrection that enlivens our faith», she commented.

    The Shroud is a sheet that «is like the fifth Gospel written with Jesus’ blood, and right because of this it lets us read with and adequate eye also the four other Gospels», explained the president of the Jury that awards the Prize, Prof. Sergio Belardinelli.

    Born in a big family, Marinelli confessed immediately that her journey of devotion and culture right began in her family. «My father made me read a lot of books about the saints, because – he said – the saints do not leave you alibis». We can feel like the examples given by Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary are « unachievable», but the saints are still people like us, and «if they reached holiness, it means that it is accessible to everyone».

    As regards her relationship with the Shroud, Marinelli said that it was an unavoidable meeting: «I did not choose to become an apostle of the Shroud, because God put on my way some signals that I had to follow». The announcement, towards the end of the 70s, that on the fibers of the sheet had been found traces of 58 pollens, 38 of which belonging to plants typical of the Middle East area, unleashed her Natural Sciences graduate curiosity.

    Then came the famous analysis performed through radiocarbon 14, after which the Shroud was believed to be made during the Middle Ages. An exam that Marinelli first contested to the root, highlighting how the sample used had been taken from one of the most polluted and contaminated areas of the Shroud cloth, that suffered during many centuries exhibitions with bare hands, darning, disrespectful usages, whose consequences could not have a negative effect on the status of the examined fibers. Professor Marinelli has not hidden her doubts that even the findings have been carried out with malice and very little scientific scruple to get to a final reply that was evidently distorted. And yet, the announcement of the results emerged through the radiocarbon analysis was mediatically studied with care, and still today in television programs and on non-specialistic publications the vulgata that wants the Shroud to be medieval returns, and this consideration has been denied many times by the research carried out during the last years.

    «The best definition of the Shroud, in my opinion, was given by Orazio Petrosillo, when he described it as “the photonews from the Calvary”», commented the prizewinner. «This sheet leaves us on the threshold of the Mystery of why did the corpse of the crucified man, who for sure has been wrapped there, did not remain there, even though it had been in contact with the linen for a time lapse that goes from 36 to 40 hours, in full compliance of what is written in the Gospels».

    Numerous were the messages that arrived to congratulate with Professor Marinelli for the award won. Among others, the ones from Vatican Secretary of State Mgr. Pietro Parolin who transmitted the congratulations of the Holy Father, from Card. Camillo Ruini, from the Archbishop of Milan Mgr. Angelo Scola and from the secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity Mgr. Josef Clemens (Andrea Mariotto, Studi Cattolici n. 657, November 2015, pp. 803-804).


  • The 2015 Exhibition ended on June 24th. During the Exhibition’s conclusive press conference, held on the following day, the Archbishop Mgr. Cesare Nosiglia tracked a record of the 67 days which shows the following entries:

    "It was an Exhibition amongst the most participated and experienced by pilgrims for human and spiritual intensity. The organization and the welcoming were perfect also for the kindness and friendliness of the volunteers. The path towards the Shroud proved useful with the panels of social saints and with the movie of the prefetch, both judged by everyone well-made and necessary. All pilgrims then had the opportunity to pause in silence and prayer before the Shroud for a sufficient time.
    The profile of the pilgrims was very wide and varied: families with children, young people, the homeless and the poor, Orthodox and Evangelicals, Muslims and members of other religions, people from European countries, America, Africa, Middle East and Asia. Of particular note are the thousands of Filipino visitors.
    Numerous cardinals stopped in front of the Cloth, together with bishops, priests, deacons, religious men and women, ecclesial associations and movements. Thick delegations of pontifical councils of the Holy See and the offices of the CEI.
    Also political, economic and financial authorities, people from entertainment, sports, film and theater fields prayed in front of the Shroud.
    And how were the pilgrims like
    The total number of pilgrims visiting the Holy Shroud during the 2015 Exhibition is the sum of the people who have booked and have made the journey, those who participated in the celebrations in the Cathedral, the groups that walked right through the central door without reservation and authorities and personalities accompanied by the Ceremonial. With this calculation, the total pilgrims were more than two million people.
    To these must be added those who during the two-day visit of the Pope have followed him all the way from Caselle to Turin, in all the squares and streets where He passed and stopped. We can say, then, that Turin has received 3 million people.
    An infinite number of messages and endless claims have been received about how the experience of the Shroud was intense and full of grace and joy for the pilgrims.
    The Visit of Pope Francis
    The Pope and all his followers were surprised by the enthusiastic welcome of the people, a sign of great affection for the Pope.
    The Pope's speeches and his actions have hit the mark and will remain in the hearts of everyone as an invitation to hope and confidence in the future.
    The actions of the three representatives of the world of work were concrete, realistic and not of fact but also full of hope in God and in themselves. A good injection of optimism even in the middle of the well-known difficulties.
    Before the Shroud the Pope was in meditative silence like a common pilgrim. No word not to break the climate of silence and contemplation that the Shroud requires. But he made a gesture full of tenderness and pregnant meaning. He touched the sacred Linen, he stroked it, as if he had touched the broken body of the Lord to comfort him. It's nice that the One from whom we receive the consolation of God becomes the object of tenderness and consolation. You see in this gesture the one of Veronica who wipes the face of Jesus, or that of the women who go to anoint the body of the deceased. But you can also see the gesture of the woman with a hemorrhage, of which the Gospel speaks, who wants to touch Jesus’ cloak for healing herself. Jesus tells her: "It is your faith that has saved you."
    The "gift" of Pope Francis for the poor of Turin

    The Pope gave me a blessing and a thanks to the volunteers of the Shroud and to those who have done their utmost for the success of the Exhibition. The handwritten text says: "
    I thank the Volunteers of the Shroud and also those who have helped me in my visit to Turin. I cordially bless you and your families. And please do not forget to pray for me. May the Lord bless you and may the Madonna keep you. Affectionately. Francis. 21.06.2015"
    The Pope asked me to benefit from the gift of donations from the pilgrims of the Exhibition and from the faithful of the diocese of Turin, for a work of charity in favor of the poor people in Turin. The figure exceeds one million Euros. It will be defined in these days with Caritas, the Migrantes Office and the Health Pastoral which will make it work.
    The Pope also wrote a note to bless the young people who had welcomed Him in Solferino square and during the journey to Caselle. The note says: “
    Dear boys and girls, I have left Turin after my visit, bearing in my heart your warm welcome, I have blessed you and I invite you to always be friends with Jesus and among yourselves, to donate to everyone His Gospel of love and peace. I bless you all with my heart, together with your parents, priests and parish organizers. Pray for me. Francis. 22.6.2015
    The speeches and gestures of the Holy Father will be converted into a pastoral letter to the city and to the Diocese so that it may be the support base of our common path for the next years." (Shroud Exhibition 2015 Press Office - Turin, June 25, 2015)
  • Pope Francis, on Sunday, June 21, visited Turin to venerate the Holy Shroud and to commemorate the 200th anniversary of St. John Bosco’s birth. He has been received by the Archbishop and Papal Guardian of the Shroud Cesare Nosiglia from Turin, and then he celebrated mass in Vittorio Veneto Square. There have also been other city events, involving Shroud pilgrims, the young and sick people. Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia received the Pope with the following message:

    Holy Father, Your presence among us is a source of so much joy. We have been waiting for you for months, praying and meditating on Your Apostolic Exhortation 'Evangelii Gaudium', to get in tune with Your heart and Your teachings, which even today You are offering us with plenty. You know that, as people living in Piedmont, we are sober with words and do not manifest on the outside many feelings, that we have within ourselves; but today we cannot help but express gratitude to the Lord and to You, dear Father, for having accepted the invitation to come to honor the Saint of the Youth, priest of this Church, loved all around the world, and to contemplate the Shroud, one of the most precious treasures that the Church of Turin, thanks to You, preserves with love and trepidation.
    You know Turin and its territory and You also know that its inhabitants are active and enterprising, open to innovation in the social and ecclesial fields, tenacious and hard workers and entrepreneurs. Today, You are facing people who are going through a difficult situation, both religiously and socially. Therefore Your message of hope shakes the conscience of those who resigned and enlivens those belonging to who, on the contrary, is determined to fight hard for a different future, richer of shared spiritual and social values.
    Our numerous Saints and Blessed have transmitted us a faith focused on the biggest Love, that is the cross of Christ, lived for each and every poor and last person, in need of dignity and acceptance, respect and solidarity and justice. Our particular Churches, backed by the faithful and generous commitment of many priests, permanent deacons, consecrated persons and a large army of volunteer laymen, will take charge of the daily needs of the poor and their rights and requirements of justice and solidarity, in close cooperation with the social and institutional components.
    We want to have a positive and full of hope sight towards that kind of population that has been for Don Bosco - and it is for us - particularly loved, sought and valued. Yes, Holy Father, young people are our best part, on which we are concentrating our strengths, to accompany them to face courageously the problems they have, from the lack of work, to the family difficulties, to moral and spiritual lack of commitment. The speakers of our parishes are opening up more and more to the outside, to inhabit the places where young people meet and to announce that Jesus calls them friends and has a special love for each of them.
    Unfortunately, the lack of vocations is felt, although there are encouraging signs of recovery, like the constant and qualified service of religious institutes for men and women in the educational, spiritual and pastoral field, and generous missionary commitment from many lay people, in associations and movements in parishes, to train to be community organizers and witnesses of Jesus Christ in the different environments of social and family life.
    Mindful of Don Bosco’s lesson to be "good Christians and honest citizens," I assure You that what You are delivering us during this visit with Your Word and most of all Your example, will be welcomed by the Churches of Piedmont and Valle d'Aosta and by the entire population of our territory as a stimulus and orientation to announce with joy and fidelity the Gospel and to bear witness with consistency, promoting the dignity of every person and family, the custody of that environment so rich in natural resources that the Lord has donated us, justice and equality among all parts of society.
    Holy Father, we would finally deliver to You what has been offered by the pilgrims of the Holy Shroud, to a charity that You will support, according to the priorities that You think most appropriate.
    Thank you, Holy Father: bless us and continue to maintain with this land that loving affection and closeness that You have always had, and which today renews so fully and joyfully.
    +Cesare Nosiglia
    Archbishop of Turin
    Papal Custodian of the Shroud

Pope Francis spent some time in the Cathedral in silent and in contemplation of the Holy Cloth.  

He prayed with the Archbishop of Turin, Mgr. Nosiglia, Cardinal Severino Poletto, archbishop emeritus of Turin, the bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Piedmont and Valle d'Aosta, the cloistered nuns and the guest priests of the houses of the clergy and the diocese and even the Chapter of canonicals, the Shroud Commission, some representatives of the House of Savoy and some relatives of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, in front of whose altar Pope Francis prayed. After the contemplation, the Pope placed his hand gently on the reliquary containing the Shroud.

During the Angelus recited in Vittorio Veneto Square, the Pope said: “Our thought goes to the Virgin Mary, loving and caring mother towards all Her children, who Jesus had committed Her from the Cross, while offering Himself in the greatest gesture of love. Icon of this love is the Shroud, which even this time attracted so many people here in Turin. The Shroud attracts towards Jesus’ Face and tortured Body and, at the same time, pushes towards the face of every suffering and unfairly persecuted person. It pushes us in the same direction as Jesus’ gift of love. 'The love of Christ constraineth us': these words of Saint Paul were Saint Joseph Benedict Cottolengo’s motto.” (Diocesi di Torino website - Turin, June 21, 2015)

  • The Holy Shroud, a sign of hope for families - A solemn celebration, last night in the Cathedral, for the liturgical feast of the Holy Shroud. The Mass was presided over by the papal custodian and archbishop Msgr. Nosiglia, with many diocesan priests in Turin. Msgr. Paolo Pezzi, archbishop of the Catholic diocese of the Mother of God in Moscow, which has jurisdiction on all Russia, attended the celebration. Msgr. Pezzi also gave a short homily, after that of Msgr. Nosiglia, for the Russian faithful who accompany him in this pilgrimage to the Shroud. In his homily the archbishop of Turin stressed above all the meaning and value of the family, described as “protagonist” of this exhibition, because, said Msgr. Nosiglia, families with children, who pray and listen before the Shroud, are a great sign of hope for all of us. (Diocesi di Torino website - Turin, May 5, 2015)
  • Color, blood, history: the annual meeting of the Shroud scholars - About 300 scholars and experts from around the world, collaborating and linked with the International Centre of Sindonologia, met in Turin on May 2 for the annual meeting of the Centre itself. The aim of the meeting was to review the progress on some Shroud issues that need in-depth research. Speeches by representatives of the scientific world dealt with historical research, the formation of the Shroud image and its color, investigations of forensic medicine and palynological analysis. It was important to underline the presence of the Archbishop of Turin , Mgr. Nosiglia, who praised and encouraged the efforts of researchers. (Shroud Exhibition 2015 Press Office - Turin, May 3, 2015)

  • The Shroud Exhibition 2015 has opened - «The world needs a greater Love: the love that wins over evil and brings reconciliation, stronger than adversities and difficulties. Being in front of the Shroud means welcoming signs of this greater Love that spent Himself on humanity. I wish pilgrims bring this gift in their daily lives that should shine with hope.»
    With these words the Archbishop of Turin and Pontifical Custodian of Shroud Mgr. Cesare Nosiglia inaugurated, with the presence of the mayor Piero Fassino and other important figures, the path towards the Cathedral and the Shroud.
    «The Exhibition is an event of an extraordinary religious and social importance», said the mayor of Turin, Piero Fassino. During the Exhibition a rich program of cultural initiatives was planned.  
    The Exhibition, the third of the new millennium, was opened on April 19 with a solemn Mass in the Cathedral, celebrated by Mgr. Nosiglia with the bishops of Piedmont.
    In the afternoon, the path was opened to the pilgrims, who began to flow in front of the Shroud starting from 4 p.m. The route starts on Viale dei Partigiani (Monument to the Carabiniere) at the Royal Gardens and runs for 850 meters to the Cathedral.