Archdiocese of Turin - Social Communications Office

The mystery of the Shroud, a discovery journey

Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist of Turin, Inferior Church, January 21 – April 30, 2006

January 2006 - On Saturday, January 21, at 10:30 in the Metropolitan Seminary in via XX Settembre 83, Turin, The Mystery of the Shroud. A discovery journey,  realized in the Inferior Church of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist of Turin and which can be visited from  January 21 to April 30, 2006, will be introduced to the press;  the visit to the route in the inferior Church will follow. During the press conference the Archbishop of Turin, Card. Severino Poletto, and the Bishops of Pinerolo and Susa will introduce the program of religious initiatives proposed to the olympic world. On that occasion, the copy of the “Gospel according to Mark” will be offered in seven languages, published by the Universal Biblical Alliance on behalf of the Italian Episcopal Conference, of the Protestant Waldensian Church and the Sacred Orthodox Archdiocese of Italy. The Diocese of Turin and the Association Turin European Capital City offer an extraordinary occasion to the visitors that will be in Turin during the Olympic Games. In fact, the Inferior Church of the Cathedral is opened to the public and prepared with an evocative journey “in stations” that ideally accompanies to the case where the Shroud is preserved inside the Cathedral.

The MYSTERY OF THE SHROUD. The journey of “discovery” winds through consecutive moments. The visitor comes down in the right aisle of the Inferior Church arriving in front of the “Last Supper”, told by images and words, and therefore to the Garden of Gethsemane, where we move in the breath of the wind that shakes the leaves of the trees. A noise of heavy steps and sandals on a cobbled uphill road guides to the “Cross”: a videomovie in the center of the aisle represents a hill on whose top three crosses stand out against the sunset. Music and words accompany to the conclusion of the journey: the Pre-reading of the Shroud. The film of the Pre-reading of the Shroud makes use of the last images of the Cloth carried out during the restoration to preserve the Shroud, and guides to a reading of the signs and a correct interpretation of the Shroud figure. Necessary blowups and details in the explanation phase will be followed by the image of the Shroud full size. At the beginning and at the end of the journey the archaeological excavations of the early Christian churches of Saint Mary, of Saint John and of the Saviour can be admired.

The INFERIOR CHURCH. In the restoration intervention of the Cathedral after the fire in the Shroud  chapel (April 12, 1997), one of the main stages of the plan is the restoration of the inferior church or crypt and its Renaissance structure. This large room constitutes, for its dimensions and architectonic value, one of the emergent poles, even if for a long time held in oblivion, of the Turinese cathedral and was, in the origin, an integrating part of the upper church. The Inferior Church was realized in 1498 together with the present Cathedral: it was a mausoleum and its architectonic system reproduces faithfully the structure of the upper level, a Latin cross, three aisles, with the arms of the transept and the chorus of equal shape and dimensions. Today the system is still the ancient one, characterized by perimetrical masonries, with rectangular windows that emerge on the public square and give light to the aisles inside, with large central pillars and above all with the vaulted system that strongly connotes the lowered volumes of the hypogeum space.

THE MYSTERY OF THE SHROUD. A DISCOVERY JOURNEY. January 21 – April 30, 2006. Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist of Turin, Inferior Church,  Piazza San Giovanni, Turin. Opening times: Monday to Sunday, 10:00 - 18:00. From  February 10 to March 19, 2006 also on Friday, 11:00 - 23:00. Free admittance. For information: free number 800.329.329, every day 8:00 - 24:00. Multimedia preparation and production: W&Media srl. Executive production: Massimo Moretto. Technical direction: Piero Raucci. Original musics: Louis Atzori. Direction and conception: Michelangelo Dotta. Press office: Maurizio Versaci - ph. 349.5048263

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