“If the image on the Shroud of Turin were thought to be of a Pharaoh, an emperor, an ancient warrior, or, indeed, just about anybody from antiquity, then the world of science and academia would be obsessed with unlocking its secrets.”
That’s the charge leveled by acclaimed British film producer and director David Windsor Rolfe. Since 1978, Rolfe has produced four films on the Shroud – helping to bring the historical, medical and archeological research on this priceless relic to the attention of the faithful and the general public.
Now all four Shroud of Turin films are available in an English language, high-definition DVD set from Ignatius Press. The collection includes:
The Silent Witness, British Academy Award-winning film from 1978;
Shroud of Turin, a remarkable film commissioned by the BBC in 2008;
Shroud, the Official Film of the 2010 Exposition of the Shroud in Turin; and
A Grave Injustice, which explains how a recent carbon dating test of the Shroud that purportedly shows it to be a medieval fake was seriously flawed, and that a more accurate test has yet to be made.
Included in the two-DVD set is a compilation of Special Features which further explain the information available on the Shroud of Turin, the making of the films, and behind the scenes interviews and information. And there is a small collector’s booklet, The Holy Shroud: An Icon of Love, which draws together excerpted selections from five homilies and addresses of Pope Benedict XVI, made during his Pastoral Visit to Turin on May 2, 2010.
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It was my privilege to see the Shroud of Turin during its ten-week public exposition in the Jubilee Year 2000. Archbishop Severino Poletto opened the exhibition on August 22, 2000. Our family had been planning a driving trip through Europe; and when the exhibit was announced, we revised our itinerary to stop at the Turin Cathedral.
Following a long line of devoted pilgrims, we stopped in prayerful silence before the Shroud, displayed on the Cathedral wall in a carefully guarded glass showcase. But while the atmosphere was prayerful, there was nothing in the archdiocese’s display to explain what I was seeing. I was grateful that only months earlier, I had toured a traveling exhibition on the Shroud. That exhibit from the Turin Shroud Center of Colorado explained the veracity of claims that it had, indeed, once wrapped the still body of the crucified Christ. The radiocarbon dating, the pollen testing, the pattern of the scourging, the blood type, and many other factors lend credence to the claims that this was Christ’s burial cloth.
The Shroud of Turin is only rarely displayed for the public. Since our family’s visit in 2000, it has been shown only twice: in 2010 and again in 2015. Perhaps you will not have an opportunity to see the Shroud personally; but as we approach those most sacred days when we remember Christ’s entombment, Ignatius Press’ just-released DVD collection offers a powerful opportunity for learning and reflection.