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RU 19+20/2010 - EUROPE, Pilgrimage to Turin

EUROPE (ru, May 27th, 2010) : The association UNEC (Union of the Nations of European Christians) organized from May 17th to 22nd a "pilgrimage to the Relics of Christ", travelling 2300 km through France, Germany and Italy by coach, with 31 pilgrims on board from several European countries.

Starting from Paris, they first stopped at Argenteuil near Paris, to venerate the Holy Tunic which O.L. wore during his Passion, soaked with his Precious Blood as evidenced by the recent studies of professor Gerard Lucotte. It was Charlemagne who brought this Tunic towards the year 800 to this village, place of a frank female monastery where his daughter Theodrade was abbess, in order to hide this precious Relic from the curious and the vandals. He had himself received it from the empress Irina of Constantinople. Ref. Fr. François Le Quere, former Chancellor of the bishopric of Pontoise who had organized the last exposition of this Relic in 1984 (75,000 pilgrims), presented to the pilgrims of UNEC his recent historical studies about the whereabouts of the Holy Tunic in the first century. Then the pilgrims knelt down before the Relic and prayed for France and Christian Europe. It should be noted that this is the only Relic of Christ which is all times in mini-exposition, since the reliquary has a fairly broad window through which one can directly observe the rolled Holy Tunic. Thus the contemplation of the faithful strongly resembles to the gesture of the woman in the Gospel who said: "If only I can touch the fringe of his tunic, I will be cured". The many ex-voto tables which adorn the walls of the Basilica, reflect the numerous miracles attributed to this holy Tunic of Christ, which is an absolutely unique Relic, because it’s a Relic both of Our Lord and of the Holy Virgin, as Saint Mary is supposed to have woven it.

Then the pilgrims travelled to Pruem in Germany, near the border with Luxembourg. Pipin the Short, the father of Charlemagne and son of Charles Martel, had made come here, in 752, a Relic called "from the Sandals of Christ", which he had received from the hands of pope Zechariah in reward of its protection of the papacy in Italy. The magnificent basilica of Prüm, today a very small city, testifies of the previous size of this Benedictine abbey and of the numerous pilgrimages in the Middle Age. UNEC had made come here, three years before, a team of scientists from France to study this relic, including specialists of numerical photography (professor Jean Legros), optical research (professor Andre Marion) and genetics (professor Gerard Lucotte). It is a ceremonial shoe with Merovingian ornaments which serves as a genuine reliquary for presumably some pieces of leather inside which originated from the sandals of Christ. The most spectacular finding is a grain of sand identified by professor Lucotte as coming from the Holy Land, kind of pink marble with a clear peak of titanium that is typical only for the soil of Jerusalem. Subsequent studies are underway to confirm this significant discovery which even surprised the church authorities at Prüm and Trier.

At Trier where the last exposition of the Holy Robe of Christ ("Heiliger Rock”) dates back to 1996, the pilgrims knelt in front of the permanently closed Saint Chapel, which is located within the cathedral whose origins date back to the century of Constantine (4th century). The Holy Robe is very popular in Rhineland and all of Germany, and it attracted yet recently large crowds, even if the ecclesiastical authorities do not any more seem to be convinced of its authenticity: at the latest 3 ostensions, there had been 2 million pilgrims in 1933, 1.8 million in 1959, and 750,000 in 1996.

After that, the UNEC pilgrims went to Turin. Travelling along the Rhine towards the south, they stopped at Ruedesheim near Bingen, a few kilometres of the famous Lordly rock, in a region where Saint Hildegard erected, in the 11th century, several Benedictine monasteries. They could venerate the holy relics of Hildegard, after listening Sister Hiltrud OSB who explained with impressive verve the nobility of this Saint who enlightened her time in various areas: in theology, mystics, music, natural sciences, nutrition, medicine, and cosmology. Saint Hildegard travelled throughout Europe for preaching and was not afraid to appear personally before the Pope in Rome and before emperor Barbarossa, saying bluntly what she thought in conscience. She made us think of what Mother Superior of the ancient Carmel of Auschwitz told to UNEC some 18 years ago: "You want to (re)construct Christian Europe? May the Good Lord give us 3 or 4 saints like Saint Francis of Assisi, and you'll have it! » Saint Hildegard was surely of that type of metal.

When passing through Alsace, the pilgrims benefited from a Sauerkraut dinner, as only Catholics know really to celebrate God’s gifts! President M. Armand Kastner of Cernay near Mulhouse taught them, from the top of his 85 years, that the only really important thing on earth is Faith, Hope and Charity, and that the Christian Europe to which the association UNEC aspires, can only revive and exist on this foundation. A visit to the famous museum “Unter Linden” at Colmar, with the famous altarpiece of Issenheim painted by Gruenwald and the beautiful Virgin under the bush of roses, work of Martin Schongauer, confirmed splendidly those recommendations.

The journey to Turin was over night, travelling by coach transformed into a rolling hotel (with the seats completely stretched horizontally), thus avoiding the hotels of this city which, during those 6 weeks of exposition of the Holy shroud, threw themselves like vultures on the announced 2 million pilgrims. This night was somehow the penitential part of this pilgrimage. Here is the report of a pilgrim of UNEC: “After a standing breakfast in the morning at 6.15 AM around our coach, with the cookies brought from Alsace and Nescafe prepared with hot water provided by the coach, we were between the first ones to wait in a long queue for the visit of the Shroud, that morning. The absolute silence of the waiting crowds was very impressing, in spite the fact of having to wait for almost one hour. Indeed, it was two days before the end of the exposition of the Shroud. Channelled through protected wooden paths around the cathedral, we finally arrived before the Relic. Absolute Silence. Contemplation of this faint image on a luminous textile which seemed to be beaming like a slide. This is the Holy Shroud which enveloped the divine Body of Christ ! These are the traces of the Blood of our Saviour! That’s the mysterious image, of ineffable beauty ! Our brains ceased to think, we were like transformed into mere eyes, in CONTEMPLATION, prefiguration of what we are expected to do eternally in Heaven. The 4 minutes of stay before the Relic which were allocated to our group, passed over too quickly, it was necessary to leave the place to the faithful which followed behind us. Many of our pilgrims returned later on to the benches of the central nave of the cathedral to pray, a little further away from the Relic but always in full view of it. Unforgettable! Next exposition: in 2030! » From the scientific point of view, an exciting fact is to be mentioned, still little known, which happened during the repair of the Shroud in 2002: according to the experts (but not yet according the officials at Turin and in the Vatican!), a very faint image of the Holy Face and of the hands of Christ could be photographed on the rear side of Shroud, very similar to the well known image on the Shroud’s frontal side. Professors Oswald Scheuerman and Giulio Fanti were able to determine that those images could only originate from an irradiation or an extremely well controlled electrical discharge coming from the body itself. For the formation of this image, in that size, which is only a superficial browning of a few fibers of the threads of textile on each side, Fanti says that it would have been necessary to shoot 14,000 orthogonal Lasers with 60 to 100 million Volts, and this during one nano-second, and all this coming from a body supposed to be dead. Has one ever seen a dead body radiate ? This is the material proof of the RESURRECTION ! Absolutely surprising ! Since 8 years the authorities of Turin and of the Vatican have difficulties to assimilate this discovery; for the moment they do not know better than to ensure: "There is no image on the rear side of the Shroud", in spite of scientific evidence (cf. the picture in the slide show referenced under this report). A mathematician has calculated that the improbability of a false image, advocated by the French television and other fools, is of 200 billion to 1. The fact of the 2nd picture, on the rear side, multiplies that rate of 200 billion again by itself. Now you will need more "faith” to believe in a fake image, than to believe in the Shroud’s authenticity. One must also say, if you permit, that God has much humour face to the human nonsense, both in the field of science (Carbon 14) and in the religious field (the Shroud is only an "icon"). God puts one layer more, to the astonishment of everyone. The "ongoing mystery” of the Shroud does not stop. When will we finally learn the message of the Shroud: to believe in God, to trust Him and to love Him?

On its way home, the UNEC pilgrimage stopped at Chambery to visit the Saint Chapel where the Shroud burned in 1532, but the church was closed for work, until 2011. An ardent rosary rose to heaven, while the coach speeded towards Paris, in order to obtain from God that this Europe, built on the very Relics of our Saviour, may find the strength of anchoring itself resolutely on Him, so as to become the lighthouse of the world proclaiming to all men the salvation by Christ our Saviour. OMNIA AD MAIOREM DEI GLORIAM.

Diaporama :èlerinage-unec-2010

- O.A.M.D.G. -

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