Shroud of Turin marked with blood of a victim of torture, new scientific study reveals

14 July 2017 | by Rose Gamble

'The presence of these biological nanoparticles found during our experiments point to a violent death for the man wrapped in the Turin Shroud'

New research indicates that the Shroud of Turin, the linen cloth believed to have been used to wrap the body of Jesus after crucifixion, shows signs of blood from a victim of torture.

Very small particles attached to the linen fibres of the shroud “have recorded a scenario of great suffering, whose victim was wrapped up in the funeral cloth,” said Elvio Carlino, a researcher at the Institute of Crystallography in Bari, Italy.

These particles, called "nanoparticles,” had a “peculiar structure, size and distribution,” said University of Padua professor, Giulio Fanti.

The nanoparticles are not typical of the blood of a healthy person, Fanti explained. They show high levels of substances called creatinine and ferritin, found in patients who suffer forceful multiple traumas like torture.

“Hence, the presence of these biological nanoparticles found during our experiments point to a violent death for the man wrapped in the Turin Shroud,” Fanti said.

The findings were published in the US scientific journal, PlosOne, in an article titled ‘New Biological Evidence from Atomic Resolution Studies on the Turin Shroud,’ La Stampa’s Vatican Insider reports.

The Shroud of Turin, which measures around three metres by one metre and contains a faintly stained image of a man, has been venerated for centuries by Christians as the burial shroud of Jesus. It has been subject to intense scientific study to ascertain its authenticity.

The findings contradict claims that the shroud was forged in the Medieval era.

The characteristics of these particles “cannot be artifacts made over the centuries on the fabric of the Shroud,” Fanti said.

“These findings could only be revealed by the methods recently developed in the field of electron microscopy,” said Carlino. He said the research marked the first study of “the nanoscale properties of a pristine fiber taken from the Turin Shroud.”

Researchers drew on experimental evidence of atomic resolution studies and recent medical studies on patients who suffered multiple acts of trauma and torture.

The research was carried out by the Instituo Officia dei Materiali in Trieste and the Institute of Crystallography in Bari, both under Italy’s National Research Council, as well as the University of Padua’s Department of Industrial Engineering.

Vatican Insider said the research confirms the hypotheses of previous investigations, like that of biochemist Alan Adler in the 1990s.

The shroud is currently displayed at St John the Baptist Cathedral in Turin. During a visit to the city in 2015, Pope Francis paused in silent prayer before the Shroud. 

PICTURE: Pope Francis prays before the Shroud of Turin, 2015

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