By ZENIT Staff

Here is a translation of the Letter that the Holy Father Francis sent to the Archbishop of Turin, H.E. Monsignor Cesare Nosiglia, on the occasion of the extraordinary prayer over which he will preside before the Holy Shroud, tomorrow, Holy Saturday, at 5:00 pm and which will be broadcast on Mondovisione

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The Holy Father’s Letter

To His Most Reverend Excellency,

Monsignor Cesare Nosiglia

Archbishop of Turin and Bishop of Susa

I learned, dear Brother, that next Holy Saturday you will preside over a celebration in the Chapel that houses the Holy Shroud, which, in an extraordinary way, will be rendered visible to all those that will take part in the prayer through the means of social communication.

I wish to express to you my earnest appreciation for this gesture, which comes to meet the request of the faithful people of God, harshly tested by the Coronavirus pandemic. I too unite myself to your prayer, turning my gaze to the Man of the Shroud, in which we recognize the features of the Servant of the Lord, which Jesus realized in His Passion: “Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief [. . . ] He bore our griefs and carried our sorrows [. . . ]He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities. Upon Him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with His stripes, we are healed” (Isaiah 53:3.4-5).

We see in the face of the Man of the Shroud also the faces of so many sick brothers and sisters, especially the most alone and less cared for, but also all the victims of the wars and of violence, of slaveries and of persecutions.

In the light of Scripture, as Christians, we contemplate in this Cloth the icon of the crucified Lord Jesus, dead and risen. We entrust ourselves to Him; we trust in Him. Jesus gives us the strength to face every test with faith, with hope, and with love, in the certainty that the Father always listens to His children who cry to Him, and He saves them.

Dear Brother, and all of you, dear brothers and sisters that will take part, through the media, in the prayer before the Holy Shroud, let us live these days in intimate union with the Passion of Christ, to experience the grace and joy of His Resurrection. I bless Your Excellency, the Turin Church and all of you, especially the sick and suffering and all those caring for them. May the Lord grant all peace and mercy. Happy Easter!

Rome, Saint John Lateran, April 9, 2020

Fraternally,

Francis

[Original text: Italian] [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

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