On Sunday, March 13, 2011, our parish hosted Dr. Anna Krogulska, a missionary and a university researcher from Poland. After each Mass, Dr. Krogulska communicated the specifics of the Shroud of Turin, a relic, which has been acknowledged as the burial cloth of Jesus Christ. Dr. Krogulska exhibited an authentic replica of the Shroud, which was on display in the sanctuary of our church. The approximately 1 meter by 4 meter Shroud wrapped the scourged and crucified body of Christ after His Passion and death.
After scientific investigation, the Shroud has been determined to be over two thousand years old. It has survived fire and the abundant turmoil of the ages. Consequently, the Shroud is reinforced with a Dutch canvas as well as numerous patches where it was charred. The Shroud itself is woven of flax fibers with a smattering of Indian cotton. Despite its age, the negative image of a male face as well as his full figure, front and back, survives with all the discernible details of wounds and mutilations.
Dr. Krogulska shared the following facts with passion and inspiration during each catechesis. … Jesus died on Friday at 3:00 PM and was wrapped in the Shroud for several hours at which time the image on the Shroud acquired its three-dimensional quality. It vividly depicts the brutality of the scourging, the cruelty of the crown of thorns and the reality that is the Passion of Jesus Christ. On the Shroud, there are visible abrasions on the knees which are indicative of the numerous falls on the road to Golgotha. Also, evident are the nail marks which penetrated the most painful part of the hand, between the bones that make up the wrist. Moreover, a stain of blood and water is discernible in the place where a large puncture wound was on the right side of the image. Lack of a visible thumb adds credence to a crucifixion, because the nerves supporting the thumbs were severed by the nails causing them to be hidden behind the palms and other four fingers. The evidence clearly indicates that this man survived extremely cruel torture prior to his death.
The presentation was not simple dry facts about the Passion of Jesus Christ and the traces of blood on the Shroud. Dr. Krogulska posed a series of thought provoking questions:
- Do I take seriously the fact that Jesus died for me as an individual?
- Do I take seriously the fact that Jesus suffered for each of us?
- Do I take seriously the fact that my sins horribly hurt Jesus?
And, Jesus, the personification of love, forgave us and offered up his suffering to our Heavenly Father. Considering this fact, can we endeavor to remember the solemn meaning of Friday, the day of the Passion and Death of our Savior, by refraining from dances, entertainment and other forms of enjoyment to allow for the thoughtful reflection of the suffering of Christ?
At 3:00 PM, during the Hour of Mercy, we prayed a chaplet to the Divine Mercy and afterward Dr. Krogulska took the opportunity to talk about the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which was not painted by human hands.
We would like to thank Dr. Krogulska for the effective and inspirational sharing of her love for the Savior, for reminding us of the suffering Jesus endured for us, and for providing us with the motivation to further explore the love of Jesus through His Passion.