On Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI prayed before the Shroud of Turin, the piece of fabric – discovered in the French city of Troyes, southeast of Paris, in mid 14th century – that many believe to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ. The 83-year-old pope described it as an “icon written with blood,” that “speaks with blood” in a meditation he held while the rag was still on display in Turin‘s St. John the Baptist Cathedral for the first time in the passed ten years.
The creepy shroud bears a faint (ambiguous) image that some claim to reflect the face of Jesus himself. The pope spent about 240 seconds on bended knee, praying to the fabric, before stated that it “is an icon written with blood, the blood of a man who was whipped, crucified and wounded in the right rib.” After the services, the pontiff added that “Every trace of blood speaks of love and life.” The pontiff delivered a meditation to the clergy involved with displaying the cloth, all the while making sure not to call it a relic, since the Roman Catholic Church has never authenticated the shroud – despite it’s prominent place as a revered object in Christendom.
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