Patrick Archbold is co-founder of Creative Minority Report, a Catholic website that puts a refreshing spin on the intersection of religion, culture, and politics. When not writing, Patrick is director of information technology at a large international logistics company in New York.
Science has newly confirmed something about the Shroud of Turin that saints already knew.
Centuries ago, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux in ecstasy asked Jesus which was His greatest unrecorded suffering and the wound that inflicted the most pain on Him in Calvary and Jesus answered:
"I had on My Shoulder, while I bore My Cross on the Way of Sorrows, a grievous Wound which was more painful than the others and which is not recorded by men. Honor this Wound with thy devotion and I will grant thee whatsoever thou dost ask through its virtue and merit and in regard to all those who shall venerate this Wound, I will remit to them all their venial sins and will no longer remember their mortal sins."
Anne Catherine Emmerich in the he Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ written from her visions said:
"There was a frightful wound on the shoulder which had borne the weight of the Cross, and all the upper part of the body was covered with bruises and deeply marked with the blows of the scourges. "
And most recently we recount the meeting of two future Saints. Padre Pio and Fr. Karol Wojtyla where the future St. John Paul II went to spend some time with the future St. Pio. Fr. Karol Wojtyla asked from which of his stigmatic wounds did Padre Pio suffer the most. Padre Pio answered:
It is my shoulder wound, which no one knows about and has never been cured or treated." This is extremely significant, not only because it reveals that Padre Pio bore this wound, but because, as far as is known, the future pope is the only one to whom Padre Pio ever revealed existence of this secret wound.
So even though the Bible makes no mention of this wound, the Saints tell us that Jesus suffered from it immensely.
But how can we know it is true? Well this is where science and the Shroud of Turin come into it. From Vatican Insider:
Four university professors have published an article in “Injury” magazine revealing that the crucified man that was wrapped in the Turin Shroud suffered a dislocation of the humerus, the paralysis of one arm and a violent trauma to the neck and chest.That the man on the Shroud is our Lord, I have little doubt. Science confirms what the saints already knew. Fascinating.
The person whose figure is imprinted on the Shroud is believed to have collapsed under the weight of the cross, or the “patibulum” as it is referred to in the study, the horizontal part of the cross. The Man of the Shroud the academics explain, fell “forwards” and suffered a “violent” knock” “while falling to the ground.” “Neck and shoulder muscle paralysis” were “caused by a heavy object hitting the back between the neck and shoulder and causing displacement of the head from the side opposite to the shoulder depression.
At this point it would have been impossible for the cross bearer to go on holding it and this brings to mind the passage in the Gospel which describes how the soldiers forced Simon of Cyrene to pick up Jesus’ cross. Not an act of compassion therefore, but of necessity. This explains why “the right shoulder is lower than the left by 10±5 degrees” and The right eye is retracted in the orbit” because of the paralysis of the entire arm, the academics say.
Prayer to the Shoulder Wound of Jesus:
O Loving Jesus, meek Lamb of God, I a miserable sinner, salute and worship the most Sacred Wound of Thy Shoulder on which Thou didst bear Thy heavy Cross, which so tore Thy Flesh and laid bare Thy Bones as to inflict on Thee an anguish greater than any other Wound of Thy Most Blessed Body. I adore Thee, O Jesus most sorrowful; I praise and glorify Thee and give Thee thanks for this most sacred and painful Wound, beseeching Thee by that exceeding pain and by the crushing burden of Thy heavy Cross to be merciful to me, a sinner, to forgive me all my mortal and venial sins, and to lead me on towards Heaven along the Way of Thy Cross. Amen.