The following is the letter sent by the Holy Father Francis to Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia of Turin, on the occasion of the extraordinary prayer at which he will preside before the Holy Shroud tomorrow, Holy Saturday, at 17.00, and which will be broadcast live worldwide:
Letter of the Holy Father
To His Reverend Excellency
Msgr. CESARE NOSIGLIA
Archbishop of Turin and Bishop of Susa
I have learned, dear brother, that this coming Saturday you will preside at a celebration in the chapel that holds the Holy Shroud, which, will be made specially visit to all those who participate in prayer through the means of social communication.
I wish to express to you my warm appreciation of this gesture, which responds to the request of God’s faithful people, sorely tried by the coronavirus pandemic
I too join in your supplication, turning my gaze to the Man of the Shroud, in whom we recognise the features of the Servant of the Lord, that Jesus realised in His Passion: “A man of suffering, and familiar with pain… Surely He took up our pain and bore our suffering … But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed” (Is 53, 3. 4-5).
In the face of the Man of the Shroud we also see the faces of so many sick brothers and sisters, especially of those who are most alone and least cared for; but also all the victims of wars and violence, of slavery and persecution.
As Christians, in the light of the Scriptures, we contemplate in this cloth the icon of the Lord Jesus crucified, dead and risen again. To He we entrust ourselves, in Him we confide. Jesus gives us the strength to face every trial with faith, with hope and with love, in the certainty that the Father always listens to His children who cry to Him, and saves them.
Dear confrere, and all of you, dear brothers and sisters who participate 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 the joy of His Resurrection. I bless Your Excellency, the Church of Turin and all of you, especially the sick and the suffering, and those who care for them. May the Lord grant you all peace and mercy. Happy Easter!
Rome, Saint John Lateran, 9 April 2020