December 12, 2015, Avinoam Danin passed away at age 76 -
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 (http://flora.org.il/en/avinoam-danin-2/).
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
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,
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
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
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
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.
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
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
Mariotto, Studi Cattolici
n. 657, November 2015, pp. 803-804).
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
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 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
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
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.
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."
Press Office - Turin,
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
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
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.
Archbishop of Turin
Papal Custodian of the Shroud
Francis spent some time in the Cathedral in silent and in contemplation of the
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)
Shroud, a sign of hope
- 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.
many diocesan priests
Pezzi, archbishop of the
Catholic diocese of the Mother
of God in
Moscow, which has
jurisdiction on all
Russia, attended the
Pezzi also gave a
short homily, after that of
for the Russian faithful
who accompany him in
this pilgrimage to the Shroud.
his homily the archbishop of
stressed above all
the meaning and value
of the family, described as “protagonist”
exhibition, because, said Msgr.
with children, who pray
before the Shroud, are
a great sign of hope for all of
us. (Diocesi di Torino website
May 5, 2015)
Color, blood, history: the annual meeting of the Shroud scholars
About 300 scholars and experts from around the world,
in Turin on May 2 for the annual meeting
of the meeting was to review
progress on some Shroud
issues that need in-depth research. Speeches by representatives of the
historical research, the formation of the Shroud image and its color,
investigations of forensic medicine and palynological analysis.
It was important
the presence of the Archbishop of Turin , Mgr. Nosiglia,
who praised and encouraged the efforts of researchers.
Press Office - Turin,
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
«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.