About Masjid Al Amal
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What is this mysterious sheet, considered by many to be a relic of Jesus Christ?
What does contemporary science say about it?
Why does it reach our hearts so intensely?
The Shroud is a linen sheet on which the figure of a tortured and crucified man is printed. The print exhibits the unique characteristics of a photographic negative.
The history of the Holy Shroud has many primitive references from the year 33 AD, including the Gospels, the History of the King of Edessa and many others, which due to the antiquity of the references cannot be verified with total certainty, the direct relationship of the canvas that these references name, with which we know for sure from 1349.
The reliable historical documents on the history of the Shroud begin in 1349, when a supposed "Shroud of Christ" appeared in Lirey, France, under mysterious circumstances and not documented.
In 1355 its owner, the French knight Geoffrey de Charny, organized what is considered the first public exhibition in a small church in Lirey.
His wife Jeanne de Vergy was the great-granddaughter of Otto de Roche, who led the sack of Constantinople in 1204.
Immediately, the Shroud began to attract crowds of pilgrims. In 1453, his daughter, Marguerite de Charny, sold the Shroud to Duke Louis I of Savoy in exchange for two castles.
When Pope Sixtus IV expressed his conviction that the Shroud was the true burial cloth of Jesus, the Savoy family built a chapel for its preservation in Chambéry, France, in 1464, where it was kept in a silver reliquary.
In 1532, the Shroud was damaged by a fire in the chapel, when a drop of molten metal from the reliquary that contained it fell through all the folded layers, destroying some of the fabric. This is due to the presence of several symmetrical triangular holes in the tissue when exposed to heat and two dark lines visible on both sides of the image.
It was repaired in 1534 by the Poor Clares of the Chambéry convent, who sewed the sheet to a backing cloth (known as "Holland cloth") and covered the holes with twenty-two patches.
In 1578, Cardinal Carlo Borromeo decided to make a pilgrimage on foot to venerate her. To avoid crossing the Alps, the Shroud was moved to Turin, Italy, where it has been kept ever since, except during the Second World War, when it was hidden in the Abbey of Montevergine, near Avellino, Italy.
Finally, Umberto II of Savoy, the last king of Italy, deposed in 1946, died in 1983 and bequeathed the Shroud to the Vatican. Thus ended the period of belonging of the Holy Shroud to the House of Savoy, which lasted more than five centuries.
The history of the Shroud before 1350 is quite obscure. In the first centuries of the Christian era there is no certain information about the existence of a burial sheet.
However, history has given us many clues to reconstruct the possible stages of the shroud's conservation.
Beginning in the sixth century, Byzantine art frequently depicted Jesus with special features very similar to those visible on the Shroud.
The scientific study of this archaeological find began on May 25, 1898, when an amateur photographer, Secondo Pia, took the first photos of the Shroud. When he developed the photograph, he realized that the image on the plate was not a negative, as expected, but a photographic positive.
This amazing discovery led to the conclusion that the image mysteriously imprinted on the Shroud was a photographic negative, a discovery that was confirmed in 1931 when new photographs were taken by Giuseppe Enrie, a professional photographer.
The first photograph of the Shroud changed the course of history, starting a fascinating period of scientific investigation. It can be affirmed that since then there is probably no other object that has had such a wide and varied scientific and multidisciplinary investigation.
In 1988, a controversial analysis of the cloth, carried out with the radiocarbon method, attributed a medieval age to the sheet, but the validity of the result has been questioned.
Scientists are still debating whether this method can be used to date an object with such unique historical, physical, and chemical characteristics.
In any case, the logical and organized presentation of the scientific results obtained leads to the conclusion that the Holy Shroud reflects in detail and evidence the exact evangelical account of the Passion of Christ. Therefore, it is impossible to consider the image itself or the information it contains as a medieval forgery.
At the International Scientific Symposium, held in Turin from March 2 to 5, 2000, it was stated that if the same scientific categories, commonly used in the study of physical phenomena, are applied to research on the Shroud, Science can affirm that the Shroud is authentic.
Symposium participants concluded by saying:
"Current knowledge allows us to state with certainty that the image of the body is not a painting, as the results of physical-chemical investigations and computer analyzes show."
Throughout the world (for example, in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, the United States) there are numerous study centers that promote and coordinate initiatives, studies and scientific research on the Holy Shroud.
On May 24, 1998, Pope John Paul II, in his speech before the Shroud, said: " [...] The Shroud is a provocation to the intelligence. It requires above all the commitment of man, in particular of the researcher, to humbly grasp the profound message sent to his reason and to his life. [...]"