Before the Holy Shroud, the pilgrims of the diocese of L’Aquila
Over the fifth week of the Holy Shroud Exhibition - from Saturday 8 May to Friday 14 May - 257.213 pilgrims with the booking visited the Holy Shroud. From the beginning of the display the number of visitor has reached 1.281.360. In addition to the ones who had booked the visit, about 95.000 people, over the week accessed the Cathedral from the main entrance, where no booking is needed. From the nave of the cathedral visitors can admire the holy linen while sitting in the pews and praying.
On Saturday 15, about 320 pilgrims from the diocese of L’Aquila visited the Shroud accompanied by the auxiliary bishop mons. Giovanni D’Ercole. According to the bishop, this pilgrimage is extremely important to gather together the citizens of L’Aquila that, after the 2009 earthquake, were scattered over a large area. «L’Aquila is a hurt city and needs signs of hope», declared mons. D’Ercole. «In this unstable and difficult moment, the Holy Shroud is an act of faith and trust; it symbolizes the love of God. The cloth represents a gift of God where we can celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, symbol of strength in the face of all difficulties». At the end of the visit, mons. D’Ercole took the occasion to thank the Caritas of Turin and Piemonte for the support provided to the areas hit by the earthquake.
The archbishop of Campobasso mons. Giancarlo Bregantini visited the Holy Shroud with a group of pilgrims. «We deeply experienced the route to reach the Holy Shroud. An hour and a half in queue was very useful, as we had the time to prepare our hearts to see and welcome the image of the Man of suffering and enhanced our desire”.