Joe Marino, friend, fellow shroudie, venerabilis eruditus, stands out as a scholar recognized for his meticulous attention to detail and well-reasoned beliefs. Joe and I certainly hold differing viewpoints on many matters and he possesses a stronger belief in the authenticity of the Shroud than I do. However, concerning something he wrote in a paper earlier this year, I am in strong agreement, especially with the sentiments expressed in the last of three paragraphs below:

Many people will acknowledge that it is possible to place Jesus in a historical time and place, and that he was wrapped in a shroud after his crucifixion. Although his apostles and other disciples claimed to have seen him after his death, no one witnessed what is generally referred to as his “Resurrection,” which most generally agree was something beyond a resuscitation. The tomb was found empty, which alone doesn’t prove anything, as the body could have been stolen. If the Shroud could be shown to be authentic, it would have been a witness of sorts. The empty tomb and the testimony of the apostles/disciples (along with perhaps personal spiritual experiences/testimony of the Holy Spirit) have been sufficient for many to accept the truth of Christianity. An authentic Shroud could strengthen that conviction. It is important to note that the Catholic Church never proclaims any relic as authentic. It only permits veneration if there is no clear proof that the relic is inauthentic. So, in a real sense, ascribing authenticity to the Shroud would be by popular acclamation, since science would never be able to prove it unequivocally.

The Shroud has been called “The Silent Witness, “The Fifth Gospel,” and even “The First Gospel,” since it would historically pre-date the writing of the gospels. Some also believe that a secondary witness was the face cloth mentioned in Jn 20:7. A church in Spain has what numerous people believe to be that cloth—it is called the Sudarium of Oviedo. But the combination of the empty tomb, the testimony of the apostles/disciples and an authentic Shroud still would not constitute proof.

Given that Jesus stressed the importance of faith, that he taught in parables and through signs, and that there has never been a knock-down proof of the truth of Christianity, it is unreasonable to believe or assert that the Shroud could be proof of the Resurrection. But as the quotes cited in this article express, it can speak in multiple ways to our hearts, which can be more persuasive than evidence and proofs.

Marino, J. (2023). The Shroud of Turin: A Matter of Clear Evidence or a Subtle Sign? Retrieved 8/13/2023 from