1. Shrouded in mystery
Tens of millions of pilgrims – including several popes - have visited the Shroud of Turin. This mysterious and celebrated cloth has provoked both controversy and devotion.
While devotees believe it is Jesus' burial cloth, others are convinced it's a medieval forgery. Whatever the truth behind their origins, why do some objects like the shroud generate such devotion and awe among believers?
3. INTERACTIVE: Under the microscope
The shroud has been a topic of hot debate among scientists and historians. Delve in to the arguments and decide for yourself.
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4. Religious relevance
The Catholic Church has long refused to rule on the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin. But whether it is actually the burial cloth of Jesus or not, it still has huge significance to many Christians.
The shroud depicts a man who has been crucified, with the marks on the body corresponding to the wounds Jesus suffered as described in the Gospels. Like any representation of Christ's suffering, it can act as a focus for prayer. It may also intensify a believer's connection to the Son of God. Christians believe Jesus laid down his life for the sins of mankind.
The image also serves as a reminder of the pain and injustice suffered by so many around the world. Pope Francis said: "This disfigured face resembles all those faces of men and women marred... by war and violence which afflict the weakest." It urges those who gaze upon it to offer comfort and compassion to their neighbours.
Many do believe the shroud was Christ's burial cloth and therefore an authentic religious relic. Catholic teaching is that God works through relics, especially through healing. They point to the New Testament, which describes believers being cured after touching the hem of Christ's garments.
5. The reach of relics
Christians have gone on pilgrimages to relics for over 1,000 years. But what kind of objects do they venerate?