Replica of the Holy Shroud of Turin
The Wignacourt Museum is privileged to possess a replica of the Holy Shroud of Turin which is one of the most important relics found museum’s collection. The original Holy Shroud of Turin is reputed to be the Shroud in which the dead body of Christ was wrapped before He was laid in the tomb. This makes it one of the most studied relics of all times. Because of this the Catholic world has always shown enthusiasm to obtain reproductions of the Shroud of Turin. Whenever such a reproduction was obtained the Shroud was held in veneration by the faithful. We find such reproductions in several countries including one in Belgium and another in Argentina; two in France and two others in Portugal; thirteen in Spain and nineteen in Italy.
The replica of the Holy Shroud of Turin in the Wignacourt collection measures 293.5cm (115.6 in) by 101cm (39.8 in), having also a frame which is 7cm (2.8in) wide. Very little of the figure of Christ is now visible on the shroud as a result of aging and poor conservation, it however still possess a unique charm. Unfortunately little is known of this Rabat Shroud. What is known for certain is that the Archbishop of Turin, Michael Beyamus, testifies in 1663 its authenticity.
This is what he states:
"To all and every person living at present or in the future We attest and in truth declare that on the fifteenth day of last May, when the Most Sacred Shroud in which the Most Sacred Body of Christ had been placed by Joseph of Arimathea (which without any doubt is kept in our Metropolitan Church in the Royal Chapel) was being shown to the large number of people frequenting the church in the presence of the King of the State of Savoy, the above drawn image herewith attached, was moved near the original Most Sacred Shroud and we made it touch it (i.e. the original) and We guarded it".
The relations between the Savoy Royal family and the Knights of St John were then, and for many years after, excellent. It was probably as a result of these connections that this particular replica of the Holy Shroud of Turin found its way in the Wignacourt College, where it can still be admired till this day.