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Shroud Tour: Known History

The shroud first appeared in our known history in the 1353 when it was known to be in possession by the French Knight Geoffrey de Charny.  Kept in Lirey, France, it was exposed many times for veneration and for pilgrimages, it also made its way out of its case for weddings and important events.

 
In 1453, Margaret de Charny cedes the shroud to Duke Louis I of Savoy who transfers it to Chambery, France.
   
In 1506, Pope Julius II granted public and liturgical worship to the Holy Shroud with its own proper Mass.

On December 4th, 1532, a fire broke out in the chapel that the shroud was kept.  It became so hot that the silver case, which the shroud was kept in, began to melt along the edges, dripping hot impure silver onto the shroud, burning a hole straight through the cloth.  Because the shroud was folded 49 times to fit into the silver box, when it was unfolded after the fire, the melted silver left a parallel pattern of burn marks running the entire length of the cloth.  Miraculously; the body images were hardly scathed.  While dousing the shroud with water to put the fire out, the shroud endured water damage and round calcium stains are also visible.  Poor Clare Nuns sewed Patches on the burnt marks between April 15-May 2, 1534.

In 1578, Emanuele Filiberto, of the House of Savoy, transfers the Shroud to Turin, Italy, where it has remained ever since (the life-size transparencies of the shroud that travel throughout the world are not the actual shroud as some visitors who view them have thought.  The shroud has never left Turin since it arrived in 1578).

On June 1, 1694, the Shroud is placed in the chapel designed by Abbot Guarini.

Between May 25-28, 1898, amateur photographer and professional lawyer, Secundo Pia is allowed to take the first photographs of the Shroud.  They revealed a startling hidden image.

In 1931, Giuseppe Enrie was allowed to take more pictures, this time, full-body pictures.  The hidden images were so detailed that doctors and pathologists were able to do an actual medical diagnosis of the man in the shroud.

On November 23, 1973, the first television exposition of the Shroud took place.

Between August 26-October 8, 1978, there is a public exposition of the Shroud to commemorate the fourth century of the transfer of the Shroud from Chambery to Turin.  Also, the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) spends a week to do round the clock experiments on the Shroud.

On March 18, 1983, exiled King Umberto II of Savoy dies, bequeathing the Shroud to the Vatican.  Though the Holy See had been the prime caretakers of the Shroud, they did not own it until 1983.

In 1988, a small strip from Rae's corner on the Shroud was taken and cut into four pieces, three of them were used for Carbon Dating tests.  On October 13, 1988 the results of the three independent Carbon Dating Laboratories yielded a date of origin between 1260-1390 with a 95% accuracy rate.  This date, which supports the first date of its known history, was seen as a definitive proof that the shroud was forged for those who did not support its authenticity.  Many people, even today, are convinced that the Carbon Dating is Absolute. 
See the Carbon Dating section for more information.

On February 24, 1993, the Shroud is temporarily moved behind the High Altar of the Cathedral of Turin so that a restoration project can be carried out in the Guarini Chapel where the Shroud is kept.

On April 11, 1997, a fire broke out in the Guarini Chapel.  The Shroud was rescued miraculously by the Turin firemen.  This was just days before the restoration work was complete.

On April 14, 1997, the Commission in charge of the conservation of the Shroud declared that it was not damaged in the fire.

Between April 18-June 14, 1998, there was a public exposition of the Shroud in commemoration of the first centenary of the first photograph of the Shroud taken by Secundo Pia in 1898.

Between August 12-October 22, 2000, Pope John Paul II has the Shroud publicly exposed in honor of the Christian Jubilee Year.

Between June 1-July 23, 2002, a massive restoration project was carried out on the Shroud.  It substituted the previous Holland cloth lining for an uncontaminated one and it removed the 1534 patches to the burn areas.
 
Much of this history is taken from a brochure produced by the Cathedral of Turin entitled "The Turin Shroud."

 
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