In his 2015 scholarly article titled, “Science and the Shroud of Turin,” Fr. Robert Spitzer, founder and president of the Magis Center of Reason and Faith, wrote:
“The Shroud has undergone considerably more scientific testing than any other relic in human history. Among all of these things, the Shroud has come up smelling like a rose.”
Believed by many to be the burial cloth used to wrap the body of Jesus of Nazareth following his crucifixion, the 14-foot, 3-inch long by 3-foot, 7-inch-wide linen cloth bears blood-stained evidence of wounds sustained by a man in the same way as those suffered by Christ, Fr. Spitzer has said.
Fr. Spitzer, an educator, author and lecturer, who has given numerous presentations on the Shroud, will be one of two experts discussing the extensive research involving the relic and its relevance to Catholics at an event at Christ Cathedral titled “Light of the Sepulchre.”
The presentation takes place on Feb. 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the Freed Theater.
GROUPS ARE WELCOMED TO THE SHROUD CENTER OF SOUTHERN CA AT SANTIAGO RETREAT CENTER TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SHROUD AND DEEPEN THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE SHROUD CENTER OF SOUTHERN CA
“You have essentially a perfect three-dimensional negative image on a non-photographically sensitive linen cloth,” Fr. Spitzer said in 2021 interview for Parouisa Media. “This is a most remarkable thing, because it not only gives us a very good sense of Jesus’ crucifixion and the historical validation of it, but a very good sense of His resurrection and
even a historical validation of that. There is really a supernatural remnant of that resurrection embedded on this cloth. For all intents and purposes is that it really is a testimony to a miracle.”
There is evidence that shows that the image could have only been produced by a tremendous burst of light in the order of 6 to 8 billion watts of magnitude, he said.
“The blood was on the Shroud before the image was,” Fr. Spitzer said. “The blood is there without any kind of a sketch or image, and then image comes over, the same sequence that would have happened if that body had been authentically placed in a Shroud and then the light burst thereafter.”
Fr. Spitzer will discuss the existence of the Shroud as a statement of faith during the Light of the Sepulchre event, said Nora Creech, a Shroud historian, lecturer and volunteer at the Shroud Center of Southern California, the organizer for the event.
“We want Fr. Spitzer to talk about why the Shroud is important to us,” said Creech, who has been involved in Shroud related projects since 2018. “It is the first Saturday of Lent and so we want to address the science and history side, but we really want to talk about what this means for having a meaningful celebration of the Lenten season.”
Creech first became interested in the Shroud in the late 1970s after the Shroud of Turin Research Project was conducted and a member of her church who was on that research team gave talks on the linen cloth.
“Once [people]) learn about the Shroud, they are always so amazed and they always say, why don’t more people know about this,” Creech said. “It definitely points to the fact that the Bible is true and what Jesus said is true and if that is the case, then what are the implications of that.”
Joining Fr. Spitzer at the Feb. 25 event will be Dr. Emanuela Marinelli, an Italian geological scientist and internationally known Shroud expert who has authored more than 20 books and several articles on the Shroud, along with hosting multiple conferences on the relic.
Dr. Marinelli will provide updates to some of the most recent research on the Shroud related to science and the Gospel.
“But mainly I would like to offer to the attendees a meditation on the Passion of Christ in the light of what the Holy Shroud tell us,” Marinelli said. “The Holy Shroud, silent but
eloquent witness of the Passion, the Death and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, as Saint Pope John Paul II said.”
A 1988 study of the Shroud involving carbon dating of three separate samples of the linen cloth concluded with 95-percent certainty that the Shroud dates back to a period from 1260 1390 A.D. and not back to the burial of Jesus around 30 A.D.
However, Marinelli and Fr. Spitzer both believe the carbon dating study was flawed for a variety of reasons.
“From my studies I was convinced of the authenticity of the Shroud, and I understood that I could not keep silent,” Marinelli said. “I had to let others know what I had discovered. This is my mission. For me the Shroud is like a scientific Gospel.”
The Shroud has been kept in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, Italy, for more than 400 years. The first historical records of the Shroud date back to 1354. Slides and other visuals will be shown during the Feb. 25 presentation.
Fifty percent of the $20 price for a ticket will go towards projects at the Shroud Center, Creech said.
The Shroud Center is located within the Santiago Retreat Center, a nonprofit that hosts Catholic retreats, marriage encounters, summer and science camps and other events.
The founder and president of the center is Dr. August Acetta, an OBGYN formerly from Orange County and now based in Bakersfield.
For more information and to purchase tickets for the Feb. 25 Shroud of Turin event, visit www.shroudcenter.com