CLINTON — Residents won’t see the actual Shroud of Turin this weekend at Prince of Peace Catholic Church, but people in Turin can’t see it either.
The Man of the Shroud exhibit opening in Clinton on Friday will include 66 panels detailing the history and science of the Shroud and a full-length replica of the Shroud developed from a photographic image made by the Eastman Kodak Co.
The actual shroud, a piece of linen that many believe is the burial cloth of Christ, is housed in the Cathedral in Torino, Italy in a climate-controlled case built specifically for it, according to the travel website Trip Savvy. Because of its fragile state, it is rarely displayed in public – the last time was during a 2015 exhibition attended by millions.
Man of the Shroud Touring Exhibit comes from the National Shrine of St. Maximilian Kolbe at Marytown in Libertyville, Illinois.
“I went to Sterling, Illinois, and I saw the shroud exhibit there,” said Prince of Peace parishioner Gail Devereaux. “I was so moved by it.”
Devereaux asked her parish priest, the Rev. Ken Kuntz, if the parish could host the exhibit. “And then I asked our Knights of Columbus if they would go get it and set it up.
“I have been intrigued with the Shroud of Turin since I was a little boy,” Kuntz said. One of the aspects of the exhibit that intrigues Kuntz is its juxtaposition of the image on the shroud against a body on a cross.
“They have taken this image of this person who was obviously beaten and crucified ... [and] transferred it to a crucifix,” Kuntz said. The result is “a very accurate representation of what Jesus’ body might really have looked like on the cross.”
The exhibit is an opportunity for people to “have a little bit more awareness of the price Christ paid for our salvation,” Kuntz said.
“This is kind of a nice opportunity,” Kuntz said, because the shroud is rarely displayed and most people can’t be in Italy when it is. “It’s just kind of interesting. Everything I’ve read about it is pretty convincing to me somehow.”
“I kind of picked a date once Father Ken said yes,” Devereaux said, “and then we had a meeting with the Knights of Columbus. They’re going to be setting it up Thursday morning, and we’re going to start showing it Friday.”
The exhibit is free and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Prince of Peace parish hall, 1105 LaMetta Wynn Drive in Clinton.
Donations are welcome and will help Kolbe Shrine maintain the traveling exhibit, Devereaux said.
The parish doesn’t have to pay for the exhibit, Devereaux said. The only cost to the parish is for advertising and transporting the exhibit.
“The Knights of Columbus are paying for the majority of it,” she said.
The Shroud of Turin is one of the most scientifically studied religious icons in history, according to the Kolbe Shrine website. Man of the Shroud presents the results of scientific, historical and forensic study through photographs and illustrations.
The exhibit was organized by the Center for the Study of the Passion of Christ and the Holy Shroud and Monsignor Giulio Ricci and other scientists after 25 years of research, Kolbe Shrine said.