From what I was reading on the Shroud Science Group on Yahoo, Pope Julius II in 1506 declared 4 May to be the Feast of the Holy Shroud. This has since disappeared from calendars. This brought to mind this interesting paragraph from a paper by Kim Dreisbach. “The Shroud of Turin: Its Ecumenical Implications.” The paper can be found on Barrie Schwortz’ site at https://www.shroud.com/dreisbc2.htm.
Returning to the ecumenical dimension of this sacred linen, it became very evident to me on the night of August 16, 1983, when local judicatory leaders offered their corporate blessing to the TURIN SHROUD EXHIBIT and participated in the Evening Office of the Holy Shroud. The Greek Archbishop, the Roman Catholic Archbishop, the Episcopal Bishop and the Presiding Bishop of the AME Church gathered before the world’s first full size, backlit transparency of the Shroud and joined clergy representing the Assemblies of God, Baptists, Lutherans, Methodists and Presbyterians in an amazing witness to ecumenical unity. At the conclusion of the service, His Grace Bishop John of the Greek Orthodox Diocese of Atlanta, turned to me and said: “Thank you very much for picking our day.” I didn’t fully understand the significance of his remark until he explained to me that August 16th is the Feast of the Holy Mandylion commemorating the occasion in 944 A.D. when the Shroud was first shown to the public in Byzantium following its arrival the previous day from Edessa in southeastern Turkey. What made things all the more amazing was that those who had scheduled the dedication had no idea of the significance of the date. It just happened to be the one night that all the various clergy had free on their busy calendars. Was it merely coincidence, or was it yet another sign of God’s larger purpose for his Son’s burial cloth?