According to Catholic News Agency (CNA) more than half a million tickets have been reserved to see the Shroud of Turin this year:
Turin, Italy, Jan 14, 2010 / 12:28 am (CNA).- When the Holy Shroud is put on display this Spring visitors are expected to pour into the city of Turin, Italy to catch a glimpse. This exposition, which comes ten years after it was last shown publicly, has already led hundreds of thousands of people to reserve tickets.
The much venerated relic of Christ, the Holy Shroud, will be on exposition at the Cathedral of Turin from April 10 to May 23, 2010. This marks the first time it will be seen by the public since it was restored in 2002, and the first time that it will be exhibited at all since the Church Jubilee Year in 2000.
The restoration efforts were carried out to remove pieces of cloth that were burned in the 1532 Chambéry fire, remove "patches" and a lining placed on the Shroud in 1534, and install new means of support for the Shroud.
According to official numbers released by the Diocese of Turin, the Jubilee year exposition a decade ago saw more than a million visitors to the relic during the 72 days it was on display. This year, there will only be 44 days to see it, and Italy’s Libero newspaper reported this week that 600,000 people have already made reservations.
Pope Benedict XVI plans to visit the site on May 2, 2010.
Cardinal Severino Poletto, the Papal Guardian of the Shroud, invited the visits, saying that the Shroud offers a "strong call to contemplate, in the image, the pain of every man, the suffering to which we often don’t even know how to give a name."
He also added in an official message for the exhibition that "the Shroud can be, for whomever wishes to see it, a great opportunity to get to know and love oneself, one’s brothers and the Lord Jesus Christ."
The exposition of the Shroud will be celebrated with daily Mass at 7:00 a.m. for the duration of its display at the cathedral, the Holy Sacrament will also be exposed in a nearby chapel and priests will be available for Confession.
The cathedral will be open to visitors with reservations until 8:00 p.m.