The nearly 400 year-old copy of the Shroud of Turin which has been the possession of the Dominican Nuns of the Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary is now on display for public veneration in the monastery chapel.
This Shroud replica was commissioned by the Most Serene Infanta, Maria Maddalena of Austria, Grand Duchess of Tuscany, wife of Cosimo de’ Medici in April, 1624. To give the copy greater value it was placed for a time on the Shroud of Turin.
What makes this replica treasured and venerated to this day is the fact that it came into physical contact with the Holy Shroud of Turin. When it was removed it was found that the wound in the side, as it is seen on the Holy Shroud had become damp as though with blood, and that this effusion had stained the copy. In 1987, scientists from the STURP team affirmed that the stain was indeed that of human blood and of the same blood type as on the Holy Shroud.
It was the Duchess Maria Magdalena, a close friend of the Nuns of St. Catherine’s Monastery, Rome who presented this copy to the monastery. This copy was venerated by the Nuns for nearly 300 years.
In gratitude for the generous help of the fledging Monastery in Summit, New Jersey after World War I, the Dominican Nuns of St. Catherine’s Monastery gave it to the Summit Dominican Nuns on April 6, 1924.
Between June 1924 and March 1926 a great deal of research took place toward re-affirming the relic’s authenticity. The Procurator General of the Order of Preachers, Rev. Father Philip Caterini, O.P. was able to re-establish authenticity of the copy by documents found in the State Archives at Turin. Bishop John O’Connor, Bishop of Newark authorized its public veneration and the Holy Father granted rich indulgences for its veneration.
For many years the Shroud copy has been kept within the enclosure and available for private viewing only.
The Shroud copy is now on permanent display in the public chapel of the Dominican Nuns. The chapel is open from 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM daily.