The Shroud of Turin, the most fascinating relic preserved by the Church, was widely venerated by the start of the 17th century. It has a mysterious history, one that has been studied intensely for many, many years.
Little-known fact: the Shroud has been copied for devotional purposes, and in miraculous circumstances.
Here are the facts.
Maria Maddelena, the Grand Duchess of Tuscany, commissioned a copy of the Holy Shroud in 1624.
After the copy was made, it was laid right on top of the actual Shroud, so that it could be venerated as a third class relic.
What happened next astonished everyone.
The copy was lifted off the original, and a damp mark—like blood—was found on the Shroud’s side wound.
The dark fluid had seeped into the copy lying on top.
300 years later, the scientists who examined the Holy Shroud analyzed its copy. The test results awed them: the dark patch was blood. The same blood as that on the original Shroud.
The rest, as they say, is history.
The Dominicans of St. Clare’s Monastery in Rome received the shroud copy as a gift from Maddelena. Keeping it in their care for 300 years, they gave it to the Dominican monastery in Summit, New Jersey after World War I.
Want to learn more about the Holy Shroud and whether it’s the real shroud of Jesus or a fraud? Catholic scientist Dr. Gerard Verschuuren has collected the various studies made on the Shroud into one book: A Catholic Scientist Champions the Shroud of Turin. In it you’ll find the storied history of the Holy Shroud, analyses of the in-depth studies, and more! Available today at The Catholic Company!