Agnus Dei Presents!
|Who Is Trying to Destroy the Shroud?
The Arson Fires!
|Before we leave the month of April, we did not want to let this event be forgotten.
The event is another fire that tried to destroy the Shroud.
The Shroud has now survived numerous fires in its history.
The first fire, no one really knows anything about.
It occurred either in 1192 A.D. (and, by the way, the proof of this fire shows immediately that those who claim the Shroud was woven in the Middle Ages really don’t know what they are talking about!), or previous to that year.
The only thing historians are certain of is that in artwork depicting the Shroud in this year, burn holes are clearly marked on the cloth. In sindonology — the study of the Shroud — these burns are called “poker holes” because it almost appears as if someone put a hot poker through the linen trying to set in on fire!
But that is all speculation.
What we do know is that these poker holes predate the worst fire the Shroud has been subjected to. This was the fire of 1532, when the Shroud was in Chambery, France. The marks of this fire are clearly seen on the Lord’s burial cloth today as whole pieces of the linen have been burned through and are not associated with the poker holes burned into the cloth more than 300 years earlier.
This Medieval fire tells us a lot about the miraculous nature of this linen.
For while the cloth was burnt, it was not consumed!
What’s so miraculous about this?
In the 1532 fire, the Shroud was housed in a silver casket. The heat of the fire was so intense that the silver began to melt. This means the temperature of the fire had reached the melting point of silver — a temperature much higher than that which could easily consume linen!
Yet, the Shroud survived this intense heat. This cloth is 100-percent linen. Surviving the 1532 fire, therefore, is miraculous!
It also proves the absurdity of those who claim the Shroud is a “painting,” for paint, too, would have melted and smeared in this fire. In the final coup de grace for the “painting” theory from ridiculous know-nothing “experts” such as Walter McCrone or Joe Nickell (the people the media always seem to “quote”), water was thrown on the Shroud’s silver casket to put out the fire and these stains can still be seen on the cloth today.
Let’s go to our local museum and throw a couple of buckets of water on a painting from the Middle Ages and see if, first, we are arrested for destroying artwork, and, second, what kind of damage will be done to the image. In the case of the Shroud, the Image was not damaged or changed in any way by the water thrown onto it! Proving, once again, and scientifically, that the Shroud is not a painting!
As any reasoning mind can see — not like those who have prejudged the Shroud and want it to be a “forgery” such as the above-mentioned men because it does not fit into their “doctrines” and beliefs — the burial cloth of our Lord is miraculous in more ways than one!
While other attempts have also been made against the Shroud, this brings us to the focal point of this month.
It was on April 11, 1997 when the most recent fire tried to claim the Shroud and, once again, the powerful miraculous Hand of the Lord prevented it!
We were blessed abundantly to have met the man who rescued the cloth that night as a fire will gut St. John the Baptist Cathedral — the Church in Turin, Italy where the Shroud has been housed since 1578.
As we attended the 2001 Dallas conference on the “Shroud in the 3rd Millennium,” we heard, as we always do, some of the most astounding scientific evidence for the incredible Truth of this cloth. But while the science and dedication of so many researchers amazed us, it was firefighter Captain Mario Trematore of the Torino Fire Department who touched the hearts of all.
For it was Mario who saved the Shroud that night just six years ago. A man whom the critics of the cloth cannot dispute as they can those who have died (a favorite tactic of Shroud antagonists). A man whose story is not only a tribute to his human spirit but to the Spirit of God which ensured the most important artifact in the history of the world would not be lost to arson!
Interestingly, the evening of April 11, 1997 saw another significant event prior to the latest fire in the history of the Shroud. It was on that very night that Dr. Avinoam Danin, of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, appeared on the CBS Evening News to announce his findings. Findings which took several years for he and his associate, Dr. Uri Baruch of the Israel Antiquities Authority, to ensure was absolutely correct.
These two scientists from Israel were certain — after long peer-reviewed studies —– that the Shroud definitely originated in Jerusalem because, not only did they find pollen on the cloth from plants that only grow in the Jewish state, but they also examined and confirmed that the images of these plants are embedded in the linen fibers as well!
Findings for authenticity such as this do not sit well with those who do not want the world to know the Truth. Those who have other doctrines and beliefs!
That very evening, after the broadcast, a fire was set in St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Italy. This fire, fed by wood scaffolding that surrounded the building in a renovation project, was raging throughout the Church — and the Shroud, if not removed from it, could have been lost to history!
As Captain Mario Trematore recalled the event, on April 11, 1997 firefighters had tried the “jaws of life” on the bomb-proof casing that the Shroud was housed in. The jaws of life — able to rip through steel to free a human being trapped in wreckage — failed to break the bomb-proof case.
Mario said it was at that moment — with the danger of the roof over the Shroud’s case ready to cave in — that he thought he and the other firefighters should exit the Cathedral before they, too, would become victims of the raging inferno.
But then, Mario said — as he had that thought — he heard a voice inside his head! And the Voice said to Mario that the firefighter should “rescue the cloth!”
One could imagine Mario’s reaction as any normal person. A voice inside your head?! As he was given the understanding to accept it, he said his first thought was how could he possibly rescue the cloth from the bomb-proof case when the jaws of life had failed to do so?
Again, the Voice spoke to Mario. This time he was told to “get a sledgehammer.”
Mario, brave soul that he is, secured a sledgehammer as he was inspired to do.
And his first blow with the sledgehammer against the bomb-proof case was disastrous! All the energy of the casing went through the sledgehammer, into Mario’s hands, through his arms, down his body and shook him to his feet! It was then, Mario explained, that he thought of his wife and children, and he said, he thought these words to himself: “Tonight, I’m going to die.”
Mario said that was when he heard the Voice again. And the Voice told Mario to stay calm and “hit it again.”
And Mario did. He hit the case again, and again, and again … .
Until finally — and miraculously — the bomb-proof case which would not yield to the jaws of life, shattered under the guided hand of Mario’s sledgehammer!
Mario then took the casket that the cloth was actually in, placed it on his shoulder, and, as he continued to relate his story, he said that at this point, he no longer felt like he was walking. Spiritually, Mario was now taken to another plane and he felt as if he was floating! The incredibly brave firefighter will make his way to the bottom steps of the Cathedral where 3,000 to 4,000 people had gathered in the street, along with news crews and cameras flashing.
Mario said he saw and heard nothing of the crowd scene before him. Instead, he said he heard a “baby cry” and immediately began to think: “Where is this baby crying from?”
That was when Mario — who still could not hear nor see the crowd in front of him — heard the baby cry again. This time, Mario realized the Cry was coming from inside the Shroud’s casket!
The Turin fireman will then collapse and spend a few weeks in the hospital recovering from smoke inhalation and other bodily injuries he sustained in rescuing the Shroud on that amazing evening six years ago. But Mario says, till today, his bones still ache from using the sledgehammer!
After rescuing the Shroud, the roof, over which the bomb-proof casing was now laying in pieces on the floor, will collapse upon the spot where the casket once was trapped — and just minutes after the Lord’s burial cloth was secured!
As for the Voice and the Cry?
We all know Who it is! For it is a matter of faith to understand that God will not let anyone destroy the evidence of His Passion, Death and Resurrection on a cloth that has not only survived so many dangerous fires that would have consumed other linens, but it has also survived 2,000 years of travel and intrigue!
Was the Baby’s Cry a spiritual sign of “rebirth”? Was it, perhaps, the Holy Child inside the casket working within to help Mario rescue the Shroud?
As for Mario — a man who was not particularly religious before this incident and has since comprehended the Great Spiritual Battle we are all in every day of our lives — he was asked two important questions by reporters while convalescing at the hospital.
Journalists asked the bed-ridden fireman how he broke the bomb-proof case that would not yield to the jaws of life. Mario responded as only someone who has heard the Voice of the Lord inside his head can. Mario said it was “God who gave me the extra strength!”
As for who would be behind a fire — or any fire — such as this to destroy the Shroud? Mario told the reporters at his bedside he knew who was behind the attack against Jesus’ burial cloth: “It is,” Mario clearly stated, “satan!”
The same evil being who — as the father of lies — is behind all the deception, lies, misinformation, and chaos that surrounds the Truth regarding the miraculous Shroud of Turin.
A cloth that no one — not even the enemy of mankind — can destroy, for our great God, Agnus Dei — whether as the Holy Trinity, the Lord Jesus or the Holy Child — will never allow it!
© 2003 Agnus Dei Presents!
|Large scorch burns, coupled with eight patches made from Altar cloths denote the marks from a raging fire that should have destroyed the Shroud in 1532. Note on the right-hand side, midway between the four patches and to the right of the Lord's hands, are three small holes in the cloth. These are the famous "poker holes" noted for the first time in 1192 and not associated with the fire of 1532.|
|Despite the enormous heat of several fires, the Image on the Shroud has never been distorted nor suffered any ill effects, such as melting, proving for a fact, no paints, pigments or dyes make up this miraculous portrait of our Lord in His Passion, Death and Resurrection!|