No decrease in the flow of visitors over the last week of the Holy Shroud Exhibition. Among the foreigner visitors, many from overseas, especially from the United States. Among the Italian visitors, over 300 pilgrims from the parishes of Rome and 500 youth from the Comunità Cenacolo, accompanied by its founder sister Elvira Petrozzi. The youth from the Comunità Cenacolo – founded in 1983 to help young victims of family violence or drug addicts – come from Italy, Libano, Lithuania, Slovakia, France, Croatia, Irland and Mexico. «Seeing the image of Christ’s suffering is very important for them», declared father Stefano Aragno, one of the priests of the group of Saluzzo, hometown of the Comunità Cenacolo.
Among the pilgrims who visited the Holy Shroud on Tuesday 18 May, cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino, President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants. «This is not my fist time at the Holy Shroud Exhibition. The Holy Shroud is the symbol of the sufferings of a man and his immensurable love. The Holy cloth should make us wonder: what are we doing for our brethrens?» In the afternoon, many professors of the catholic University Sacro Cuore of Milan visited the Holy Shroud.
On Monday evening, many pilgrims gathered together at the Cathedral to attend the solemn Matins (better known as the Officium lectionis or Office of Readings), held by metropolitan Hilarion di Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations and collaborator of Kirill. 6 bishops, several priests and over 600 Russian pilgrims attended the Great Vespers. Cardinal Severino Poletto attended the celebrations, too. He declared: «On behalf of the Church of Turin I am glad to welcome His Eminence metropolitan Hilarion, who came here to worship the Holy Shroud. The welcome with the prayer represents our faith in Jesus Christ, in our devotion to the Holy Mather, in our devotion to the Holy Shroud showing us the mystery of Jesus’ death and resurrection.» At the end of their meeting, cardinal Poletto asked metrolitan Hilarion to give his regards to patriarch Kirill. At the end of the liturgy, Hilarion donated to card. Poletto an icon featuring a Saviour’s image.