A brief history of the Shroud of Turin

The Vatican’s official newspaper Thursday gave its endorsement to Italian research that suggests the Shroud of Turin cannot possibly be a medieval fake and that it may be Christ’s actual burial cloth. With this in mind, we take a look at the Shroud’s life as a holy relic.

1357 First recorded display was in Lirey, eastern France, when the cloth appeared under “mysterious circumstances.”

1389 Pierre d’Arcis, Bishop of nearby Troyes, writes to Pope Clement VII claiming an unnamed artist has confessed to creating the image.

1653 Shroud is damaged by fire while in the keeping of nuns in Chambéry. They attempt to restore the cloth by patching the holes.

1578 The Duke of Savoy orders its removal to the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, Italy, where it has been ever since.

1898 Secondo Pia, an Italian photographer, takes the first photograph. People observing the image are startled by its resemblance to a photographic negative.

1970s Test conducted to determine whether the image is caused by paints or pigments. Walter McCrone, an American chemist, says the red stains are paint, not blood.

1988 The Roman Catholic Church agrees to carbon-14 dating. Tests conclude the cloth dates to between 1260 and 1390, and is therefore a fake.

2004 Study says the 1988 tests were conducted on a linen patch used in repairs after the fire. The shroud may be older than previously thought, it adds.

December 2011 Italian scientists say the image on the shroud was created by a form of electromagnetic energy, therefore it could not have been produced by an artist