Rome, May 3rd2019, the Liturgical Celebration of the Shroud was solemnly held in Rome with the Dynastic Orders of the Royal House of Savoy’s Support and the participation of the Grand Prior
On May 3rdthe Liturgical Celebration of the Shroud was held in the Basilica of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem. This celebration was promoted by the “Giulio Ricci” Diocesan Centre for Shroudology, in collaboration with the Vicariate of Rome, the “International centre for Shroud Studies” of Turin and the Regina ApostolorumPontifical University.
This celebration dates back to May 9th1506, when Pope Julius II approved the public cult of the Shroud with the “Salubriavota” papal bull, in response to a request from Duke Carlo II ofSavoia, which reached him through a delegation made up of the bishop of Maurienne Mons. LouisdeGorrevod, Manfredo di Saluzzo, Andrea Provana and Filippo Chevrier. Thanks to this papal bull the Liturgical Celebration of the Shroud was instituted, with its own Mass and liturgical officiation fixed on May 4th. The House of Savoy thus had a decisive role in the institution of this celebration, and they continued to uphold this role throughout the centuries by worshipping and preserving the Sacred Shroud. Doctor Paolo Di Lazzaro, director of research at ENEA and vice-director of the “International Center for Shroud Studies” held a conference on the topic of the “Turin Shroud: What Science Can Tell us About its Date and Images”. During the conference he explained the studies and research that have been made on the Shroud in a rigorous, scientific and captivating manner. He especially focused on the unreliability of the C14 dating system from 1978.
The solemn Eucharistic Celebration took place at 7 p.m. in the Basilica, presided over by His Most Reverend Eminence Mons. Paolo De Nicolò, Grand Prior of the Royal House of Savoy Dynastic orders, assisted by P. Rafael Pascual LC and Joseph Spence ffm, with a liturgical service curated by the Legionaries of Christ seminarists.
During the homily the Officiant shared some touching personal spiritual experiences he had with John Paul II and Benedict XVI during the displaysof the Shroud; he gratefully underlined the commitment of the Savoy Dynasty to the Holy Shroud for more than five centuries and King Umberto II’s generous and Christian decision to donate the Shroud to the Pope.He thus invited the faithful to pray for the living and departed Princes and Kings of the Savoy House.
After taking communion, while the Basilica Choir intoned the chorale “Oh Sacred Head Full of Blood and Wounds” from J.B. Bach’s St Matthew’s Passion,the Knights and Ladies dressed for church carried a copy of the Shroud in procession to the altar, to display to the devotion of the faithful.
In the ensuing silence, the Bishop intoned the “Prayer Before the Shroud”, worshipping and kissing the Sacred Image.
This very evocative and captivating ceremony reinvoked the close relationship between the Savoy Knights and the Shroud throughout the centuries, in continuity with all the previous displays.
As the Archbishop of Turin Cardinal Severino Poletto wrote: “The Shroud and the Savoy Dynasty are an “inseparable pair” that the donation to the Church never divided: quite the opposite, the donation definitively sanctioned this union”.
For this reason, at the end of the Celebration, the participants strongly requested that the Liturgical Celebration of The Shroud become a yearly cultural and prayer event for all the Knights and Ladies of the Dynastic Orders.