In an opinion piece, Stu Salkeld, editor of the St. Albert Gazette, writes:
Some people would be astounded to know how far back the tourism industry stretches. Some claim it stretches back to the 14th century in Europe, when a preponderance of holy relics appeared rather suddenly. The number and diversity were impressive: the Shroud of Turin, said to be Jesus Christ’s image on his burial shroud, which was unheard of until the relic trade began in the 1300s, the Sudarium of the Lord, a facecloth that is said to have captured Christ’s profile after he died on the cross, the Spear of Destiny, which a Roman centurion wielded as he stabbed Christ on the cross (four of these currently exist in Europe) and probably the least known, the Holy Prepuce, or Holy Foreskin.
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The medieval relic trade was profitable. Pilgrims from across Christendom travelled what, at the time, were rather dangerous roads to visit cities such as Turin that held artifacts said to be associated with Christ, the saints or other holy figures and while they were on the road pilgrims spent a lot of shekels, much as modern tourists do today. However, the authenticity of many relics was almost immediately called into question, even by the church itself. For example, in a 1389 letter, Bishop Pierre D’Arcis denounced the Shroud of Turin as a fraud to Clement VII.
Some claim; is that transparent bias? Can you spot the history mistakes?
Why the picture of Saturn? Read the article.