The American Confraternity of the Holy Shroud

Let the hearts that seek the Lord

rejoice; turn to the Lord and his

strength; constantly seek his face.

Psalm 105:3-4

The Shroud and the Confraternity

The Shroud of Turin is a 14' 6" by 3' 9" (8 cubits by 2 cubits) rectangular cloth that many judge to be the actual cloth that wrapped the body of Jesus in the tomb. The Catholic Church, which preserves custody of the Shroud in Turin (Torino), Italy, has never made, nor is the Church expected to make, an official pronouncement on the authenticity of the Shroud as the actual burial cloth of Christ. The Church says only that the cloth may be an important aid to faith. Many have testified that becoming familiar with the abundance of data and hypotheses concerning the Shroud has led to deep contemplation, strengthened faith, and even changed lives.

The possibility of strengthening faith, and potentially changing lives, is what prompted the founding of The American Confraternity of the Holy Shroud (ACHS). The mission of the Confraternity is to develop ways that the Shroud, whether it is authentic or an iconic representation of Jesus’ Passion and death, may illuminate and strengthen Christian faith. The judgment of whether the Shroud is “authentic” is left to the judgment of the informed inquirer. For those, however, who come to such a judgment, the Shroud may be seen not only as an icon testifying to the Passion and death of Jesus, but also to being a witness providing a deeper understanding of the Resurrection of Christ.

Regarding the Resurrection of Christ, paragraph 647 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

“…no one was an eyewitness to Christ’s Resurrection and no evangelist describes it. No one can say how it came about physically. Still less was its innermost essence, His (Jesus) passing over to another life, perceptible to the senses. Although the Resurrection was an historical event that could be verified by the sign of the empty tomb and by the reality of the Apostles’ encounters with the risen Christ, still it remains at the very heart of the mystery of faith and something that transcends and surpasses history…”

Full-length shroud as it appears to the naked eye (enhanced for contrast):

Above image converted to a color negative (color component intensities reversed); mirrored for effect as is commonly done: