Two million people are expected to visit the once-in-10-years public display this spring of the Roman Catholic super-relic, the shroud of Turin. The 14-foot-long cloth is imprinted with an image of a man who appears to have been crucified.
The relic's large following is convinced it was used to wrap the body of Jesus when He was placed in the tomb. The Vatican has not approved or disputed this view but that has not prevented its use as a major Roman Catholic object of worship.
After praying before it, Pope Benedict XVI said, "This is a burial cloth that wrapped the remains of a crucified man in full correspondence with what the Gospels tell us of Jesus." Some thought his words came close to declaring that it was indeed Jesus' burial cloth.
Relic worship (or veneration) is part of the unbiblical group of superstitions promoted by the popes. Others include: prayers to the dead (Mary and the "saints"), wafer-god worship, infant baptism, purgatory, worship of statues, penance and confession to priests, and celibacy of priests. None of these are supported by Scripture, but are part of Catholic "tradition."
Jesus told the Pharisees that their tradition had "...made the commandment of God of none effect." (See Matt. 15:6 and Mark 7:9.) The pagan origins of most of these practices are detailed in The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop, and Babylon Religion by David W. Daniels.
These books show how both biblical and secular history confirms that Babylon was the fountainhead of the various pagan systems that spread throughout the world after God confused the language at the tower of Babel. Hislop describes how, one by one, each of these idolatrous practices was incorporated into Roman Catholicism as it evolved.
Satan uses each of these rituals to transfer trust from Jesus alone to this false "church" and its system of salvation by works. Merit is earned by pilgrimages to shrines built around relics such as the shroud in Turin or demonic apparitions of the Virgin Mary goddess.
Get-out-of-purgatory credits (indulgences) are obtained by bowing before statues, attending papal events or spending time "adoring" the wafer god (Eucharist).
Technically, the shroud is only a second class relic since it is not a part of Jesus' body. First class relics have to be an actual bone, tooth or hair from a saint or martyr.
However, if one considers the shroud to be the actual burial cloth of Jesus, then the blood stains would qualify it as a first class relic.
One first class relic was on display in Goa, India last year. It was the toe of "Saint" Francis Xavier, a co-founder of the Jesuit order in the 1500s and a Catholic missionary from Spain to India.
Parts of his body have been distributed as first class relics to various places in Europe and India. When his body was displayed for veneration soon after his death, the little toe of the right foot was bitten off by a Portuguese lady, Dona Isabel Carom and preserved as a personal relic. The toe, preserved over the centuries, is still on display for "veneration" in Goa.
Such foolishness would be laughable if it were not that over a billion precious souls are trusting in these pagan-based "traditions" instead of looking to Jesus alone for salvation.
Millions of them are all around us in our communities and neighborhoods. They need to know the truth about the danger they are in.
Chick Publications has tracts, books and videos to equip you to witness effectively to them. You can see them here on our website or by calling 909-987-0771 for a free catalog.