Dr. John Jackson,world specialist of the Holy Shroud of Turin,recently came to Toronto to give an extended presentation on the most precious relic of the Passion and Resurrection of Our Lord, the Holy Shroud. Dr. Jackson travelled with his wife Rebecca all the way from Colorado, where he runs the Holy Shroud of Turin the Turin Shroud Center of Colorado (TSC).
The Holy Shroud is nothing new for Dr. Jackson as back in 1978, he led a 40-person team of international scientists to Turin where they examined thoroughly the Shroud of Turin. That project, called the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP), triggered the attention of the scientific world, which started to show interest in the oldest relic of Christianity.
So, it was a great honour for us to welcome a man who dedicated his life to the study of the Holy Shroud of Turin for over forty years of his life.
The first conference was given on Saturday morning, in a rented hall at a local movie theatre. Dr. Jackson used a giant screen to give his presentation. At first, he went over the history of the Holy Shroud, then he skilfully demonstrated that the Carbon 14 technology could not be considered as reliable means to provide accurate information for the age of the Holy Shroud of Turin.
On Sunday afternoon, Dr. Jackson completed his presentation on the Holy Shroud before a group of faithful at the church of the Transfiguration. Among others, he gave the reasons that lead him to think that the Holy Shroud of Turin was indeed the tablecloth that was used during the Last Supper, on Holy Thursday.
Looking carefully at some food stains that follow a regular pattern on the side of the cloth, Dr. Jackson introduced us to the drama of the Last Supper, and more precisely to the instant when Jesus pointed out to Judas Iscariots, the apostle who was going to betray Him, as reported in the gospel according to St. Matthew: “And whilst they were eating, he said: Amen I say to you, that one of you is about to betray me. And they being very much troubled, began every one to say: Is it I, Lord? But he answering, said: He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, he shall betray me. The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man shall be betrayed: it were better for him, if that man had not been born. And Judas that betrayed him, answering, said: Is it I, Rabbi? He saith to him: Thou hast said it.”Jesus was following the Jewish ritual of the Passover Seder (dinner), by which the master that wants to show appreciation to one his guests, gives him a mouthful of bread dipped in the Charoset. At that time, the words of Jesus to Judas were uttered in a low voice, thus barely noticed by the other apostles.
So, according to Dr. Jackson, the disposition of the food droppings found on the Holy Shroud of Turin could be used to reconstitute the evidence of the drama of the betrayal of Judas, as described in the gospel.
All those who were able to attend Dr. Jackson’s lectures were quite impressed by the extent of his knowledge. By the time they went back home, they had grown not only in the knowledge but also in the love of this priceless relic.
Fr. Dominique Boulet, sspx
Matthew XXVI, 21-25
The Charoset is a sweet, dark-colored paste made of fruits and nuts eaten at the Passover Seder