Another Report on Our Holy Father's Visit to the Dominican Nuns of Monte Mario
Our monastery has a personal connection with the Monastery. Shortly after we were founded in 1919 we helped the monastery which was in dire need after World War I. In gratitude the nuns gave us crucifixes which we wear under our scapular. Each crucifix has a relic of the True Cross and relics of Dominican Saints.
They also gave us replicas of the Holy Nails that have a bit of the actual nail relics fused into them.
The community also gave us a reproduction of the Shroud called a True Copy. This copy was commission by the Duchess Maria Magdalena in 1624.
The Sisters gave these precious artifacts to our monastery in gratitude. Below is a short account of this copy of the Holy Shroud:
The Winding-Sheet venerated at the Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary—Rosary Shrine—is a replica, of the Holy Winding-Sheet preserved at Turin, Italy. It is the only copy known to be in existence in this country. This precious relic of Our Lord’s Passion is preserved in a glass case which has been especially designed for its protection.
The history of this great relic is too long to be given here; we can mention only a few facts concerning it. At the request of the Grand Duchess of Austria, the reproduction was made in April, 1624 which date is written on the fabric.
The Most Serene Infanta Maria Maddalena of Austria, Grand Duchess of Tuscany, in a letter of April, 1624, asks Margherita of Savoy, Duchess of Mantua, daughter of Carlo Emanuel I, that with her good offices she may obtain that two copies of the Sindone may be made for her. And these two copies were not only executed faithfully by a good painter on linen, in texture, dimensions and painting similar to those of the true Sindone, but in order to given them greater value they were both laid for some time upon the true Relic.
It was the Duchess Maria Magdalena, a close friend of the Nuns of St. Catherine’s Monastery, Rome who presented this copy to them. This copy was venerated by the Nuns for nearly 300 years and given to the Dominican Nuns of the Monastery of Our Lady, Summit, New Jersey on April 6, 1924. The whereabouts of the second copy is unknown.
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.
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. The first exposition of the copy of the Shroud took place on March 29, 1926. Since then, it has been displayed in an ornate bronze frame with an inner frame of mahogany, donated to the Nuns by Mrs. P. Peck of Boston. It is 7 feet by 3 feet, carefully designed to the full dimensions of the replica.