The Shroud Exposition of 2015, which will run until 24 June, opened this morning with a solemn Eucharistic celebration in the Cathedral, presided over by the Archbishop of Turin Msgr. Cesare Nosiglia and broadcast live on RAI.
"The gaze that turns towards the Shroud meets the gentle presence of total charity, forgetting oneself and compassionate - said Monsignor Nosiglia during the sermon - This represents for us a constant invitation for solidarity with the fate of those who feel that they fail physically and morally, and feel rising around them the chill of abandonment and despair in their heart. I invite you not to surrender to evil - he added - but to overcome it with good, not ever to retreat in the face of violence against the innocent, nor from the commitment to reconciliation and peace, based on justice and the truth of love ".
Concelebrating the Mass were, Cardinal Severino Poletto, Archbishop Emeritus of Turin, with Auxiliary Bishop Guido Fiandino and Msgr.Edoardo Aldo Cerrato, Bishop of Ivrea, Msgr. Pier Giorgio Micchiardi, Bishop of Acqui Terme, Don Enrico Stasi, Inspector of the Salesians of Piedmont and Valle d'Aosta, and fifty priests from the diocese of Turin.
The service in the Cathedral was attended by Mayor Piero Fassino, civil and military authorities, the Organizing Committee of the Exposition with President Elide Tisi and Director General Maurizio Baradello, as well as some young people and ill individuals, ones to whom the Exposition 2015 is particularly addressed.
Upon exiting the Cathedral, Archbishop Nosiglia spoke of the tragic sinking of a boat full of migrants which occurred the night before in the waters of the Strait of Sicily, which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people.
Mons. Nosiglia told reporters he felt "humiliated and crushed by this tragedy which took place on the day in which the Shroud was revealed again to the world. It is a defeat - he added - which I feel in my heart, as a Christian, and as a citizen. A concrete and timely solution is needed, it should not be possible that almost every day such tragedies occur. Our country is already doing a great deal, - said the Archbishop - an appropriate strategy is needed involving everybody, a response that must also come from the European Union. "
Pope Francis also reminded everyone in his Regina Coeli Prayer in St. Peter's Square of the opening of the Exposition: "I, too, God willing, will go to Turin on 21 June. I hope that this act of veneration will help us all to find in Jesus Christ the merciful Face of God, and to recognize this in the faces of others, especially those who suffer the most. "
The first pilgrims
At 4pm, at the Reception marquee in “Viale dei Partigiani”, the influx of pilgrims to the Shroud began. Among the very first were a couple from Turin who were originally from Sicily, a family from San Severo in Foggia and a large group of South Americans. There were also many visitors who, although they had not booked, entered the Cathedral via the main door, where the Shroud is visible from a distance.
Reservations and bookshop
Starting tomorrow, and for all 67 days of the exposition, the 850 meters of the path leading to the Shroud will be open to the public from 7.30am to 7.30pm. Bookings are required, which can be made via the website www.sindone.org, or by phoning the call center (+39.011.5295550) or by going to the Instant Booking Center, which is located inside the Official Exposition Bookshop, in Piazza Castello at the corner of via Palazzo di Città.
Exhibitions and cultural initiatives
Many events have been organized to celebrate the Exposition. The complete list, with explanatory notes, can be found at www.sindone.org.
- This Evening at 8.45pm at the Church of San Filippo Neri, in via Maria Vittoria 5, the violinist Uto Ughi will give a special concert dedicated to the event.
- For the first time in Turin, lent by the Museum of San Marco in Florence, the masterpiece by Beato Angelico, "Lamentation Over the Dead Christ" will be on display in an inspiring area of the Turin Diocesan Museum until 30 June 2015.
- Also in the Diocesan Museum 60 works including sculptures, carvings, pottery, engravings, panels created on paper in pencil and tempera, mosaics, oil and tempera paintings on canvas, as well as tapestries and jewelry collections for the exhibition "Umberto Mastroianni, between civil conscience and sacred spirit", is open to the public until 30 June.
- At the Venaria Royal Palace, until June 28, you can visit "Praying. A human experience. The meeting with the divine in the cultures of the world ", an exhibition on the rituals and traditions of prayer, an important opportunity for comparison and intercultural reflection.
- At the Congress Center of the Santo Volto Church in Turin (via Nole, at the corner of via Borgaro) an exhibition of contemporary art "Holy Mystery", with more than 40 works of art by emerging and established international artists, created via reflection on contemporary art, the sacred and the mysteriou.
Another program is "Notes on the Shroud", a collection of 18 events, from sacred music to classical, from baroque to contemporary, to be held until Saturday, June 13 in some of the most inspiring churches in Turin, in the RAI Auditorium and in Aula Magna at the University of Turin.
Turin, April 19, 2015