Pope Francis contemplates Shroud of Turin, calls it ‘icon of love’

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June 22, 2015

Pope Francis touches the case holding the Shroud of Turin after praying before the cloth in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, Italy, June 21. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See POPE-TURIN June 22, 2015.

Pope Francis touches the case holding the Shroud of Turin after praying before the cloth in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, Italy, June 21. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — It took place in silence and lasted only a few minutes, but Pope Francis’ time of prayer and contemplation before the Shroud of Turin was marked with gestures of reverence and tenderness.

Revered by many as the burial cloth of Jesus, the shroud was the second stop on the pope’s packed itinerary for his two-day visit to the northern Italian town of Turin.

The pope did not give a speech June 21 in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, where the shroud is housed, but he described it later as an icon of Christ’s great love for humankind.

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