James Sajo reports in Suite 101.
The most revered relic in Christianity is normally locked in a secret room in a cathedral in Turin (Torino), Italy. This year, the door will be opened.
The Holy Shroud, also known as the Shroud of Turin, has been on public display only 17 times in the last three centuries. Make that 18. From April 10 through May 23 of this year, the iconic cloth will be on a rare public exhibit.
The Shroud is a fine linen cloth that bears the image of a beaten and crucified man. Many believe it is the winding sheet used to wrap the body of Jesus after he was crucified. A century of scientific research and extensive tests have failed to conclusively prove or disprove the provenance of the cloth.
Shroud of Turin Reservations
Reservations are mandatory to see the Shroud. Visitors can book on-line using the Shroud web site. An alternative is to go to the reception area in Turin’s beautiful Piazza Castello (just around the corner from the Cathedral) and make a same-day booking. Same-day reservations are a risky proposition, as space will be limited.
The on-line booking form is easy to follow. It allows visitors to see which dates and time slots are available. The form allows booking for individuals or groups (a separate booking form is offered for large groups, along with information on hotels offering group rates). Once booked, an email confirmation will be sent. Visitors must bring a copy of the email confirmation with them to the exhibit to ensure entry.
The exhibit is open every day from 7AM to 8PM. Once inside the Cathedral, visitors will be permitted 15 minutes to view the Shroud. It is best to avoid weekends, especially Sunday, as those dates are more crowded. May 2nd is completely booked already. The Pope will visit Turin and see the Shroud on that day.