Shroud of Turin to be Broadcast Live Holy Saturday March 31

Shroud face

Pope Benedict XVI authorized the televised showing of the Shroud of Turin before he left office. The Shroud will be televised next Saturday, which is Holy Saturday.

The Shroud of Turin has been the subject of intense discussion for hundreds of years and still fascinates both believers and unbelievers worldwide. A radio carbon dating several decades ago indicated that the Shroud dates from the middle ages. However, this finding has been challenged based on the way the samples for the dating were taken and the possibility of a corrupt sample having been used that would have given inaccurate results.

No one knows exactly were the Shroud came from. Many people, including Pope Benedict himself, feel that the Shroud was the burial cloth of Christ. Others dismiss it as a fraud. One thing is certain and that is the Shroud is an inexplicable artifact that defies simple explanations. Even the most dedicated opponents of the idea that the Shroud is the authentic burial cloth of Christ are unable to explain how it was made. 

Shroud fully body

The most challenging aspects of the Shroud are how was it made and why a medieval forger would do something so complex and difficult in the first place. Also, the anatomical facts of the figure on the Shroud are consistent with what a real crucifixion would do rather than what people in the Middle Ages thought.  

I’ve read several books about the Shroud, but I have never seen it. I’m like a lot of people who find it fascinating and wonder if it really is the burial cloth of Christ. 

I don’t know if the televised viewing will be available here in Oklahoma, but if it is, I plan to record it so I can watch it later. 

Here’s the story from Vatican Radio:

(Vatican Radio) As part of the Year of Faith a conference gets underway here in Rome (Friday) tomorrow entitled “The Shroud and the New Evangelization. The two day event is being sponsored by the Pontifical Regina Apostolorum and will feature speakers including Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization.

The conference will deliver a programme presenting the shroud of Turin, which is believed to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ, as a sign of faith that speaks to contemporary society.

“The message is this, the shroud is a sign, a sign that speaks to contemporary man and so I think in this year of faith this Holy Shroud has something to tell us in a very graphical view,” says Father Rafael Pascual LC, Director of the Science and Faith Institute at the Regina Apostolorum.

He told Lydia O’Kane that the face Jesus left us is one of suffering but also of love and donation. Listen RealAudioMP3

  • Alexio

    For one, it came from the Orthodox Church in Constantinople. It was stolen by the Latin Church during their crusades as they pillaged, rampaged and destroyed Orthodox Christian churches. It is an Orthodox treasure.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Considering what happened with the fall of Constantinople, it’s fortunate the Shroud was removed and thus saved from destruction. If it really is the burial cloth of Christ, I would say that it belongs to all Christians, everywhere and not one group of Christians.

      Also, the Church in Turkey today is struggling. The Hagia Sophia was a museum when I visited it. No Christians have been allowed to worship there for many hundreds of years. Instead of focusing on things that happened a thousand years ago, it might be better to work together so that Christians can help one another in the world in which we are living now.

  • MaryMargaret

    It is a Christian treasure and a world treasure..not an Orthodox one, nor a Catholic one, nor a Protestant one. It belongs to all of us, whether it is genuine or not. This is not to say that the sack of Constantinople is not a black stain on Catholicism, although as I recall, it was begun, or caused by the massacre of Latin Catholics in Constantinople?

  • Rebecca Hamilton

    I agree that the Shroud is a Christian treasure. I also agree that the entire schism, including the sack of Constantinople, is a tragedy and a stain on Catholicism.

    But I do want to ask that we not go into that here. I want to see those old wounds heal. In fact, I think re-fighting this civil war now, a thousand years later, is destructive to our common brother and sisterhood as Christians. I want to support Christians all over the world in every communion in their struggle to follow Christ without the fear of exploitation, discrimination, prejudice and violent persecution. Those things are the enemies in front of us, not one another.

  • MaryMargaret

    why are you so much wiser than I? Lol..I agree. Mea culpa.

  • Manny

    So why not do another carbon dating test? I’m sure we could find a non-partisan tester. Personally I’m skeptical but I would love to be proven wrong!

  • Sean Keohane

    It is definitely not certain that what we know as the Shroud of Turin was stolen from Constantinople in 1204, although personally I believe it was there at that time… but, as stated, that is a theory, and even if it was the same object seen by Robert de Clari at the Church of St Mary of Blachernae in Constantinople, it may have left Constantinople by any number of ways, not just by being “stolen” by marauding Europeans.

    For instance, today at Vespers at St Peter’s in Rome, canons of the Basilica displayed briefly the Veil of Veronica, which the Vatican has claimed to possess for centuries, but which was also supposedly stolen from St Peter’s in 1527 (when Rome was sacked by Lutheran soldiers). Rome was brutalized, the Veronica was supposedly stolen and destroyed after having been passed around in taverns… yet it is actually, as far as we know, still present and apparently unmolested in the secret place it has been kept for nearly a millennia now.

    As for the upcoming broadcast of the Shroud: it will be seen twice next Saturday on Italy’s RAI Uno TV, once at 11:10am and then again after 5pm, or at least there will be programming about the showing of the Shroud at both those times. (One imagines the second showing will be a replay of the first, but there may be more to it than that.) Though the broadcast was supposed to be available internationally, it may be that means one can see it only by having the proper “apps” to watch the Italian station’s livestream on the Internet, or perhaps even a spacial “app” for this particular occasion, as there may be a copyright restriction on the broadcast. (It has been announced that the broadcast would be available to all who wanted it, but the Diocese of Turin is also planning to release a book and DVD about this event.) I was hoping that EWTN would carry the broadcast in the US, but thus far I have drawn no response from anyone at EWTN regarding it, though specials about the Shroud will air this week before Holy Saturday.

    This is an interesting period for relations between Orthodox and Latin Rite Christians, and our shared love of icons and imagery derived from icons may help, mystically, with our efforts toward unity. Indeed, the Shroud belongs to the world, rather than one branch of Christianity, but the fact that it may have been preserved and thought about deeply first in the East and then by the Western Church, and that traces of that history still exist in art and religious observance (the Mandylion or Image of Edessa in the East, the Holy Face or Veronica’s Veil in the West), is actually very moving. However, Catholics seem to me completely correct in begging forgiveness of our Orthodox brothers and sisters for the sack of Constantinople in 1204… and are equally right to grant the same forgiveness to our Protestant brothers and sisters for the sack of Rome by drunken Lutherans in 1527!

  • Jessica Renshaw

    I hope it is the same documentary we saw: The Real Face of Jesus. I came to that film with serious doubts about the shroud’s authenticity because the Bible (Gospel of John, chapter 20, verses 1-7) says clearly there was a separate cloth covering the face: “. . . So Simon Peter. . . saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the facecloth which had been on his head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself.” This film convinced me that indeed there were two cloths–and still are, though they were only reunited recently: one covered only the face and another wrapped the entire body. With meticulous care and scholarship scientists have compared the wounds on the two pieces of linen and when overlapped they match precisely, forming a single pattern of blood stains. Also, I was blown away by the fact that the “imprint” of the face and body on the shroud is like a photographic print in that it is a positive image, not a negative! It was not caused by the application of paint or any other substance but created from the inside by some kind of intense radiation. Like Thomas putting his fingers in the holes in Jesus’ hands, I no longer have any doubt that this cloth encased our Lord’s body before He, in His resurrection power, exploded out of it!

    • Sean Keohane

      Hi, Jessica (and Rebecca, and all), the event in Turin this Saturday is not of an existing documentary on the Shroud but a special live broadcast of the Shroud to be carried on an Italian network. It will be a live viewing, with a limited number of witnesses in the church (300, supposedly). My earlier note mentioned the 17:15pm program (which would be 5:15pm in Italy) might be a re-play but apparently that will be the actual showing. One needs a special app to view the online livestream from the Italian station, and though I don’t know what exactly that might be, it has been said that it is available at Apple iPhone stores.

  • Sean Keohane

    An excellent site for updated details on this broadcast, which will be this Saturday, March 30, after some specials air on Good Friday, March 29, is Barrie Schwortz’s .

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thanks for posting this Sean.

  • marie argo


  • Dave

    Is this being broadcast in the U.S.? If so, when, and on what network or cable outlet?

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      This is all I know Dave. Maybe someone else can help.

      “Authorized by Benedict XVI in one of his last acts as Pope, the 90-minute display will be broadcast worldwide at 12 noon (EDT) on the Italian RAI 1 state TV show “A sua Immagine” (In His Image).”

      • Sean Keohane

        Happy Easter Monday, all! (And a safe April Fool’s Day, one supposes!)

        It seemed many people had a problem with livestreaming from Italy, though a Canadian station apprently did broadcast the Holy Saturday Shroud exposition without trouble. The lack of interest from any US network at all was disappointing, but there were also those in the UK and Australia who told me they could not watch the event as broadcast from Italy.

        However… I sent a working link to Barrie Schwortz at, as well as a translation of Pope Francis’s beautiful remarks for the exposition (from Britain’s Daily Telegraph), and all that and more is now up at Barrie’s site. As the full presentation was 90 minutes, Barrie also found shorter “highlight” clips for those with less time to watch! He has a link to the broadcast and the other information on the homepage of (He also did a CNN interview a few days ago which I think can also be liked at the site.)

        It wil be interesting to hear what others think of the way the ostentation was handled for the broadcast. As for the findings of Giulio Fanti’s newbook, the work itself is controversial to say the least. However, Dr Fanti has the reputation of being a generous and honest man. The archdiocese of Turin has issued a statement denying the scientific work in the new book can be taken seriously, though, for reasons that can also be read at Barrie’s site. (At heart, the experiments were unauthorized by the Church; and, most importantly, Archbishop Nosiglio argues there is a break in the chain of provenance for the Shroud materials used.) I hope these links are helpful; happy Easter week!