ACFW PR Officer, Angie Breidenbach here:
One of our ACFW member authors, Pamela Ewen, is doing a wonderful series for our ACFW blog on her research trip to see the Shroud of Turin. Let’s see where she is now on the journey.
From Turin, Italy –
Hello ACFW Friends! We finally made it to Turin after long delays because of volcanic ash again. But the plane flew right over Iceland and the volcano! Go figure.
It was raining when we arrived, but the sun came out for our trip to the cathedral where the Shroud is exhibited. We got there early, early, but still had a long wait. The air was crisp and cool. The cathedral is on Palace grounds, and as we moved along in line, we were surrounded by mountain soldiers in full regalia with feathers in their hats.
We entered through a long arched tunnel of ancient brick, walking through open archeological digs. Here began a faint background of baroque music, adding to our somber mood.
Reaching the first dark room, we saw a silent film of the Shroud, with features on the image enlarged one by one to show the wounds on the hands, feet, side, on the forehead, and the scourge marks wrapped around His body. 124 of them. There was so much blood.
Walking on, at last we entered the Cathedral. The church,too, was dark. I felt such a deep deep sense of reverence as I saw the actual Shroud. It was displayed full length (14 feet) in a well lit glass container. Behind it hung a large red curtain. Our guide, Barrie Schwortz, says that the curtain hides from view many pipes and tubes used to control the climate in the container. The glass is bullet proof. Special lighting is used to protect it too. No pictures allowed, of course.
Seeing the Shroud filled me with a deep sense of reverence and comfort and joy. I have studied the Shroud for many years. This is not a matter of faith for me. Rather it’s a reminder for me of our own personal connection to Christ, a comfort. It reminds me of his promise in the Gospels – that he would not leave us alone when he was gone from his earthly home.
But there was a shocker too and it’s an emotional hit. The Shroud was secretly restored by Turin authorities two years ago, and now it looks quite different! This was done without any consultation or input from the world’s scientists and experts. I report this with sorrow because it appears that much has been lost. In my next post I’ll tell you how our precious relic has been changed and more.
Until then… arrivederci!
Author Bio: Pamela Binnings Ewen practiced law for twenty-five years with the international law firm of BakerBotts L.L.P. before exchanging her legal career in corporate finance for writing full time. She is the author of the novels The Moon in the Mango Tree, a Christy Award Finalist, and Walk Back The Cat, as well as a non-fiction book,Faith On Trial, all published by B&H Publishing Group. Secret of the Shroud (a reissuance of Walk Back The Cat with new content) will be released September 1, 2010. Her novel Dancing On Glass, a finalist for the William Faulkner-Judge Minor Wisdom Award, will be released by B&H in July, 2011. Pamela is also featured in the filmJesus: Fact or Fiction, produced by Campus Crusade for Christ.