UK Pilgrims Prepare to Visit Turin Shroud

Watch for Dissipation of Iceland’s Volcanic Ash

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By Genevieve Pollock

GLOUCESTER, England, APRIL 20, 2010 ( Pilgrims in England are watching for the dissipation of the volcanic ash cloud that has grounded many flights across Europe as they prepare to visit the Shroud in Turin, Italy.

Mark Guscin, who will lead this pilgrimage, organized by the British Society for the Turin Shroud, spoke with ZENIT about the upcoming trip.

The group will travel from England on Sunday, if the volcanic cloud disappears, Guscin said.

He spoke about what the trip means for the pilgrims, affirming that «seeing the cloth that could very well be the Shroud Jesus of Nazareth was buried in, stained with his blood, is an incredible experience.»

In fact, he added, «I will never understand how there could be Christians who are not interested in it.»

Even beyond Christianity, Guscin noted, «the Shroud exercises its mystery over many Jews and agnostics or atheists» as well.

Guscin, who is currently living in Spain and working as the editor for the society’s newsletter, stated, «You can learn a lot more about the Shroud from books, articles and good Web sites than you can from seeing it, but when you are standing there in front of the cloth, you feel a real presence.

«It is profoundly moving to see the incredible suffering that Jesus went through,» he added.

Speaking about his first experience with the Shroud, Guscin explained, «Back in the 1970s, when I was at school, they took us to a cinema to see ‘The Silent Witness,’ David Rolfe’s award winning documentary on the Shroud, and it fascinated me from beginning to end.»

He continued, «Since then I have become friends with David and took part in the second documentary he made on the subject, shown on the BBC in 2008.»

Now Guscin works with the society to produce a magazine about the Shroud twice a year and distribute it worldwide.

The society aims to «act as a forum for individuals from all walks of life sharing an interest in the Shroud mystery, and quietly to help with any information requested from the general public and from the media.» It currently has members on all continents, including a range of different professions and religions.

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