A press conference was held this morning in the Vatican to present the agenda for Pope Francis’ visit to Turin in June and to explain the program for the 67-day exhibit that will feature the celebrated Shroud of Turin.

Pope Francis is scheduled to arrive in Turin in northern Italy about 8 a.m. on Sunday, June 21 and, a half hour later, will meet with representatives of the world of work in the Piazzetta Reale. He will then proceed to the cathedral where he will pray before the Holy Shroud as well as before the altar of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. At 10.45 a.m. he will celebrate the Eucharist in Piazza Vittorio and will recite the Sunday Angelus prayer.

Shroud of Turin

Following Mass and the Angelus, the Pope will proceed to the archbishop’s residence to lunch with young detainees from the “Ferrante Aporti” penitentiary for minors, several immigrants and homeless people, and a Rom family.

At 2.40 p.m. the Holy Father is scheduled to visit the shrine of the Consolata, pausing for a brief period of private prayer. At 3 p.m., in the basilica of Our Lady Help of Christians, he will meet with Salesians, who are marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of their founder, St. John Bosco, and the Daughters of Our Lady Help of Christians. An hour later, in the Church of Cottolengo, he will meet with the sick and disabled.

Returning to Piazza Vittorio at 6 p.m., Francis will meet with young people of the city, after which he will retire to the archbishop’s residence. The Pope will surely speak of Pier Giorgio Frassati when he meets with the youth of the city and archdiocese.

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, who died in 1925 at the age of 24, is as beloved now by Italian youth as he was at the time. Born into a very wealthy family, Pier Giorgio was an avid sportsman, had a great sense of humor, loved to be with his friends but, above all, loved helping those who were poor or sick or somehow disadvantaged. A Catholic social activist, he was a member of the Third Order of St. Dominic.

Frassati’s father, a self-proclaimed agnostic, founded the newspaper La Stampa and was active in national politics, serving in the Italian Senate and later as the country’s ambassador to Germany.

Young Pier Giorgio was not the apple that fell close to the tree: in fact, he was dedicated to works of social action, charity, prayer and community, and involved with Catholic youth and student groups, often keeping some his charitable works from his parents. In fact, when he died at 24, PierGiorgio’s parents naturally expected family and high ranking political friends to attend the funeral but were stunned when droves of people from all walks of life, including the poorest of the poor, flocked to the church to pay their respects.

In 1989 Pope John Paul II visited his tomb and paid homage to him, calling him a man of the Beatitudes.  Hebeatified Pier Giorgio on May 20, 1990.

The Pope’s visit to Turin continues on Monday 22 when, at 9 a.m., he will visit the Valdese Temple.

Returning to the archbishop’s residence, Francis will meet privately with some of his relatives, celebrating a Mass for them in the chapel and having lunch with them afterwards.

Before his departure from “Torino Caselle” airport, he will pay a short visit to the members of the Committee of the Shroud, the organizers and supporters of his visit.


(VIS) – This morning a press conference was held in the Holy See Press Office to present the upcoming exhibition of the Holy Shroud of Turin (Turin, 19 April – 24 June 2015), on the occasion of the second centenary of the birth of St. John Bosco, which will be especially dedicated to the young and to those who suffer. The Pope will also make a pilgrimage to Turin from 21 to 22 June.

Speakers at the conference included Archbishop Cesare Nosaglia of Turin, papal guardian of the Shroud; Elide Tisi, Turin mayor; Roberto Gottardo, president of the diocesan commission for the Shroud; and Rev. Luca Ramello, director of the youth ministry for the diocese.

Archbishop Nosaglia explained that the Shroud represents, for the Universal Church, a point of reference of the first order for the faith life of many people and communities who recognize, in this image, the signs of the Lord’s passion, of a Jesus who “inspires our lives and challenges us to fully realize our deepest vocation. Therefore,” he added “the theme I have chosen for the next exhibition is ‘The Greatest Love’: the gift of salvation which is made visible in our response, the worship of God and service to our brothers”.

The archbishop noted that, “the Pope’s trip, like the exhibition as a whole, is also intended to give thanks for ‘the Saint of youth’, and for the service that the Salesian family carries out in Turin and throughout the world in the fields of education, mission, sport and communication. … The world of youth is particularly involved in the Salesian mission, and during the Pope’s visit there will be a sort of mini Youth Day, a series of meetings, encounters, prayer, moments of celebration that help resume contact with the young. An extraordinary sign will be the presence of the World Youth Day Cross, which will make a stop in Turin during its journey to Krakow.”

Another special mark of this exhibition will be attention to the world of those who suffer. This year those pilgrims who are sick or disabled, along with those who accompany them, will be able to benefit from new hospitality structures based on the model of the “Accueil” in Lourdes. It is also hoped that the pilgrimage to the Shroud will offer an opportunity to partake in the sacrament of Reconciliation, as a “concrete sign of forgiveness” and, as on previous occasions, “in various places priests will hear the confessions of the faithful in all the world’s major languages.”

Archbishop Nosaglia emphasized that the 2015 exhibition has been organized according to the criterion of austerity, given the period of severe economic and social crisis throughout the area, and he thanked those entities that have offered their cooperation to help limit costs as far as possible.

He also announced that during the display of the Shroud, Beato Angelico’s celebrated “Lamentation over the Dead Christ” will be exhibited in the diocesan museum, on loan for the occasion from the city of Florence.


“As you are aware, visiting the Shroud is completely free. Traditionally many pilgrims leave a simple offering at the end of their journey, deposited with full discretion at the exit of the Cathedral and in the places of confession. On this occasion all the offerings will be given to the Pope when he is with us in Turin on 21 June. We will ask him to use them, naturally with full freedom, for a work, or a project to assist the poorest or neediest.”

NOTE FROM JOAN: If you intend to be in Turin during the period of the exhibition of the Shroud, you must register at the following site to reserve a day and time for a visit: www.sindone.org

This is the official website and it is in several languages. “Sindone” means “shroud” in Italian.