Pope Francis has spent time praying before the Shroud of Turin in a two-day visit to the city this weekend, joining hundreds of thousands who in the past two months have stopped to pay their respects to what some believe is the burial cloth of Jesus Christ.
Although the Vatican has never publicly declared whether it considers the shroud an actual relic belonging to Jesus, Francis told the audience at mass in Turin that the cloth is an "icon of love."
"The shroud attracts toward the face and the martyred body of Jesus and at the same time pushes us toward the face of those who suffer or are unjustly persecuted," he said, according to Catholic Herald. more >>
Michelle Obama and her daughters Sasha and Malia paid their respects to the nine victims of the church massacre in Charleston, North Carolina by lighting candles at the Duomo Cathedral in Milan, Italy on Thursday.
Although the first lady made no comment nor issued a statement, an official at Duomo said Obama and her daughters lit candles in memory of the victims along their unannounced stop at the Gothic-inspired church, according to the Associated Press. The trio were also joined by Obama's mother, Marian Robinson, the official said.
On Wednesday night, suspected shooter Dylann Roof opened fire during a prayer meeting at Charleston's historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, killing nine people and injuring three. The 21-year-old South Carolina native has been taken into custody where he admitted to the crime on Friday, and his gun charge alone was set on a $1 million bond, while the nine counts of murder are ineligible for bond. Roof's next court date is set for Oct. 23. more >>
Italian forensics investigators have used the Shroud of Turin, believed by some to be the burial cloth of Christ, to produce an image of how Jesus might have possibly looked like as a child.
The Independent reported that police generated a photo-fit image from the negative facial image imprinted on the famous shroud. They then used a reversed aging process which included reducing the size of the jaw, raising the chin, and other techniques to produce the image of the young Jesus. Photos released online show the step-by-step reversed aging process used.
The shroud's authenticity has been the subject of much debate and scientific testing. It is recognized by the Vatican as an important relic, but the Roman Catholic Church has never proclaimed its stance on whether the face imprinted in the shroud really belongs to Jesus. more >>
Over a million people are reportedly flocking to Turin in Italy to be a part of the first public display in five years of the famous 14-foot shroud, believed by many to hold the imprint of the face of Jesus Christ.
The Shroud of Turin is displayed relatively rarely to the public, The Guardian reported, and has been available for viewing only five times since 1933.
The relic is usually kept sealed inside a container in a chapel next to the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, and was last displayed in 2010. This year its presentation commemorates the 200th anniversary of the birth of Saint John Bosco, a Catholic who worked with poor youth in Turin. more >>
At least 15 Muslim migrants have reportedly been arrested by Italian police after murdering and throwing overboard 12 other migrants, Christians from Ghana and Nigeria, who were all on a boat heading to Italy.
BBC News reported that the Muslims were arrested when they reached the Sicilian city of Palermo, and were charged with "multiple aggravated murder motivated by religious hate."
Migrants from various parts in Africa travel to Italy by boat in large numbers every week, often resulting in massive maritime disasters. more >>
An Italian court has postponed until Friday, March 27 its ruling on whether to uphold the murder convictions of Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito.
Italy's highest appeals court was meant to make the decision on Wednesday. But due to the length of the prosecutor's and the lawyer's statements during a morning hearing, the court decided to postpone the decision until Friday.
Prosecutors and defense lawyers challenged many of the arguments that made the 2007 murder of British student, Meredith Kercher, a headline-making case. The Court of Cassation in Rome was reportedly mobbed by members of the news media, and the presiding judge, Gennaro Marasca, moved the proceedings to the court's grand hall because the originally scheduled courtroom was too small to hold the many observers, according to The New York Times. Sollecito was present in the courtroom on Wednesday, but Knox remained in the U.S. for the verdict. more >>