The exposition of the Holy Shroud in Turin, Italy ended on Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. Cardinal Severino Poletto, the Archbishop of Turin, celebrated the Solemn Mass. Only limited people were allowed to enter the Cathedral for the Mass but luckily, the sisters were able to inch their way among the crowd to get inside.

At first, it was decided upon and announced in the year 2000 by Pope John Paul II that the next public exhibition of the Shroud of Turin would be in the year 2025 to coincide with the next Holy Year of the Catholic Church.

However, on June 2, 2008 Pope Benedict XVI announced that the Shroud would be displayed from April 10 – May 23, 2010, which was the longest period in its history. The event’s theme was PASSIO CHRISTI, PASSIO HOMINIS. Pope Benedict visited and venerated the Holy Shroud on May 2, 2010.

Visitors of the 2010 Shroud exposition viewed the cloth in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, commonly called Duomo. Though free in admission, they came on reservation basis, but priorities were given to the disabled visitors. Towards the end of the exposition, however, the ushers no longer checked them.

There were two ways of personally seeing the Holy Shroud:  some lined up a few blocks away from the Cathedral for a better and closer view, and others followed the easier route – pilgrims just entered the cathedral upon arrival and viewed the shroud several yards away.  Those who lined up were ushered by batch and stood before the bulletproof, climate-controlled case containing the cloth for five minutes while an Italian speaking guide gave explanations about the Shroud.  Though taking videos and pictures were prohibited, many visitors could not help but to secretly took souvenirs.

In support of the event, all the nearby churches in Turin had a replica of the Shroud being displayed at one of their side altars.  Various souvenirs can be bought from the established business stores and also from the temporary stalls along the streets.  The price of several items got cheaper as the event of the shroud’s exposition approached its end.

Taking the opportunity of being in Turin, the sisters frequented visiting the cathedral. There they met and befriended many Filipinos, residents and visitors alike. Meeting them were always joyful and heartwarming encounters.  Soon after the end of the exposition, however, people could not enter the cathedral because the equipment used for the said event was being removed.  The Shroud was stored back into a closed case and placed within an alcove of the Cathedral.  After a week or so, visitors were once again able to pray and meditate before the encased Shroud inside the cathedral.

May you be blessed whenever you gaze the most Holy Face of Jesus!

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