Believed by many people to be the burial shroud of Jesus of Nazareth, the Shroud of Turin is the most famous, most studied and most controversial relic of Christianity. It is a single piece of linen about fourteen feet long by three and a half feet wide bearing the front and back images and bloodstains of a crucified man. The Poor Clare Nuns of Chambéry who sewed patches onto the shroud after it was severely damaged in a church fire, described what they saw in 1534:
In that image we saw suffering so great that it would be impossible even to imagine. A beaten and tortured face, the head punctured by great thorns, trickles of blood running down the forehead, the cheeks swollen and disfigured, cruelly beaten. The left hand marked and crossed over the right covering the wound there. The nape of the neck pierced by the long thick thorns of the crown made for the head. Thick blood clots on the hair. The shoulders torn to pieces by the lashes of a whip.
Explore the Shroud Online:
History Channel Special: The Real Face of Jesus
Discovery Channel: Unwrapping The Shroud of Turin New Evidence